Saturday, October 31, 2009

This stuff. Wow. It's reeeeaaaally bad. And you know, I had a feeling in the store. Almost put it back. It did have that trashy vibe about it - but you know, I was buying for a little Halloween get together this afternoon and it's Pumpkin, for chrissake, so I caved.

Then I realized my mistake. Hmmm. A friend came over yesterday afternoon to raid the liquor cabinet for a palatable option. No luck. It's pumkin syrup. And even scarier is the fact that I dropped $12 on it. So, instead I think I'll be making this instead later on today. It's still orange :-) and goes with chili.

Also Halloween related -- at the last mintue, we realized Maya's Wednesday Adams costume didn't FIT. (crapcrapcrapcrap - there's hours wasted) We put together a new costume - she's a vampire now. She's still all covered up. (phew) And Zoe? She's Maya's pet black cat. Me? I'm a witch. As always.

But, beside Halloween preparations, there's also been knitting in the past couple days. Here's Fireside in her current state. ( Oh, #10 needles, why don't I use you more??)

Since it is Halloween, I leave you with popcorn candy corn hands in the cubbies at school. mwah ha ha

Thursday, October 29, 2009

if one of my first thoughts, driving back to school yesterday to pick up my Kid With a Fever, was that (oh, yay) I'd have a lot of good kntting time coming up?

(adding: Kid just fine today. Fireside going quickly.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here's my Holiday, and it's waaaaay overdue.

I've wanted to knit this for how long now?? I'm using Louet Riverstone Bulky, which was on clearance at WEBS this summer, and I'm loving it. Not exactly the bulky white cashmere Cameron Diaz had, but we have different budgets, don't we? If only TSE just gave me $700 sweaters out of the wardrobe dept!

Between Halloween and a few other things going on this week, I figured it was time to shelve my design stuff and spend a week working on someone else's pattern, so I could concentrate on the non-knitting life I lead. I have one, you know ;-). Demented and sad, but social, it is. (Recognize that? Who's a child of the 80s here?)

I've also been waiting for a new drink. You can't have a holiday without one, can you? And funny enough, this one has a vacation-y name. Purely coincidence -- I picked it since we are trying to use the ingredients we have in the cocktail cabinet. Somewhat like knitting down the stash, isn't it?

Anyways, it's the one on the right. A Bermuda Highball. The other is a gin and tonic, since my DH wanted one of those instead. The highball was good -- and a nice break from rum and cider type drinks, which seem to be the fave while the leaves change.

Bermuda Highball

3/4 oz gin
3/4 apricot brandy
1/4 oz vermouth
juice of a half lime
ginger ale

And in other "have been waiting for" news, yesterday was one of my favorite events of the year. The Temple Isaiah Rummage Sale! It's amazing.

I go every year, and I have cohorts, who love it as much as I do. We go straight from school dropoff, wait in the line, and get the good stuff early. This year, we lasted for 4 hours, and I walked away with 3 giant bags 'o stuff. Good Stuff. There's Prada in there this year, and Seven jeans and three dot shirts. I tried, tried, tried to get a Coach suede trench to fit me, but gave up the ghost on that one.

Above is some knitting related Stuff from said bags.

Two giant shetland sweaters from England to be frogged and used for something later on. The yarn in both is a little wooly, but not too itchy. And the light green one has a nice sheen too. All 100% shetland. I'm thinking the dark green one will be the yarn I use to re-knit my Shawl Collared Cabled Cardigan with the ties. After wearing it at Rhinebeck, I think it needs to be knit in a less "slippery" yarn that won't fall open as easily. Something a little more sheepy, as Carol says. I was going to buy tweed, but this will do the trick just fine - and sweaters are $6 ea!

I also scored a Chaiken cardigan for the same $6. It's cozy, black, soft and bulky, a cashmere wool mix. Never been worn. I'm thinking that for the $120 I did spend (don't tell), I really saved about $400. right? Just tell me I did.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

So here's where I ended up with my Rhinebeck-inspired slouchy hat. The kids think it looks like a sea creature's on my head. An octopus, starfish, squid type of thing. You know the joke, where you put your hand, fingers spread, on someone's skull and tell them it's a brain sucking spider? Yeah, they're doing that to each other and finding themselves completely hilarious. They aren't entirely wrong, but that's the look I wanted, right?

And I don't care, because this is exactly what I had in mind when I cast on.

The hat-inspired haircut isn't looking too groovy in the photo - but this post is about the hat, and it's way to rainy to have any say over the hair today.

I'm amused. Craig is taking my photo. It's raining and he's playing with the settings. Come to think of it, I'm a little pinker than usual here. He's still learning.


If anyone's really paying attention, you'll notice I'm not at Stitches. Instead, I'm hanging out in town today. I woke up, looked out the window and decided I just wasn't up for the rainy drive.

Instead, a Halloween Update:

Maya and I are off to the Goodwill in a little while to get fixins. A high necked Amish type dress. Yes, you heard that right :-) Apparently, the St Pauli Girl Devil was too much for her too. We watched the Addams Family movie yesterday and she's decided to be Wednesday Addams. It's going to be perfect. Braids, the dress and some ghoulish makeup.

I so prefer creepy to slutty!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

That maybe only a fellow knitter would understand.

See my hat-in-the making? See my new bangs? All those layers down the side? Yeah, that's new. Really new. I just cut my hair so it would look better in the hat. And, yep, I did it in the bathroom, in the mirror, with craft scissors. While Wearing The Hat.

I think I've crossed a line somewhere in there, but I'm not sure if where it was. In fact, I only noticed it when I looked back at the last half hour of my life and thought about my actions. (Perhaps the craft scissors were the giveaway.) But you guys get it, right?

Honestly, since seeing so many amazing hats at Rhinebeck I think I've become a little hat-centric. I have about 1o new hats planned for winter, and realizing my current haircut wasn't going to do any of them justice, I couldn't possibly wait another minute to rectify the situation. Hats need a little layering.

In the end, I'm thinking the actual haircut came out ok. Maybe even better than the one I paid for last month. Which is good, since I'm off for a big Anniversary Surprise Date tonight... 14 years since I met my DH, working in an ad agency in San Francisco.

It's a surprise. I have no idea where it is or what we're doing. All I've been told is to arrange a babysitter, wear a dress and put these on. I love these.

Then, show up at a specific bar in Harvard Square at 7pm.

Can I wear my hat, you think?

PS. Who's going to Stitches on Sat? I'm so bummed to have missed so many of you at Rhinebeck, and I'm going for the full 2-festival experience here --

I'd love to really find you in Hartford this weekend, :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

It was such a whirlwind from Saturday morning at 5am till now, and about 20,000 things happened in Rhinebeck which are - of course, all blogworthy, since they are knitting related. But since I know there are about 10,000 other knitters with similar stories (I know because I saw them), I'll keep it brief. I took no fair photos - sorry. But you'll see others.

After all, you have those 10,000 blogs to read too, don't you?

There were tons of Ravelers - amazingly, I ran into only TWO Ravelers who I'd already known of. Really, 2. The rest of the buttons and faces were all new to me. Except the knitters we all recognize. I saw lots of them, which was fun, too.

After a shy start to the day, I decided to talk to anyone who would listen and ended up meeting tons of other knitters. Really nice people who I hope to see again in different times and places. I even surprised myself and chatted up a few famous faces, who were all amazingly nice and down to earth.

A high point of my day was at the Ravelry party when I was talking to Cirilla Rose, of Berocco fame, and just happened to be wearing Short Lucky. Which is made of Berroco Ultra Alpaca. She took a little look at my design and decided she liked it enough to twitter about it on the Berroco Design Blog! Which was a lovely little ego boost, and I felt like a knitting success for a bit. Yep, I thought I'd arrived... And the pattern's almost ready to release, so maybe some of you will dig it too?


With amazing restraint in the fair isle dept, I walked out with only these skeins.
Some lovely tweedy yarn and amazing eggplant merino.

I also found that bringing burbon in a flask and buying hot cider to pour it in is absolutely the way to go at a outdoor fair on a cold day. My travel partner agreed and we sipped and shopped for yarn happily.

I then picked up this little airline size nip before the Ravelry party. Since we didn't know what that bus ride would hold. It's GOOD. It's Wild Turkey American Honey. It's a mix of honey and burbon. And it's liqueur so it's not as harsh as the real stuff. Put that in your cider and tell me what you think.

Finally, this was the year of the amazing hat at the fair. You have to see this flickr page.

It made me want to cast on for one of my own! This is a double cabled slouch out of soft bulky wool -- or it should be if it turns out how I hope it does. :-)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Only because I can't wait to show this off. I'm so happy when something comes out like you hoped!

More info will follow on Ravelry, and I'm guessing I'll have the pattern ready to test sometime in the next two weeks. I used 6 skeins of Jo Sharp DK Tweed.

And although it wasn't meant to be a tunic, I'm thinking it looks pretty good this way.

I made it so the neck could be a shorter, wider foldover - kind of 1960s style. Or it can be a cowl. Like I have it on now, 2009 style.

I added a fake button tab (aka no holes, just a flap), so there would be something fun along the bottom, and used two of my navy blue vintage buttons on it.

And I had a little fun with the shaping along the side, making the ribs increase and decrease where I do. It's a little hard to see in the photo below, but it's there!

I know I've hardly given you guys time to comment on my earlier post, but hey. Feel free to comment twice and make my day!

The song keeps going through my head. I couldn't link you to You Tube since the lyrics are disabled there. It's offensive and all. Advertisers would be irate. But I'm sure I'll be humming it all day -- as I walk through my daughters' elementary school. And unfortunately or not, it won't be the first time. (It's just so catchy, I can't help myself.)

Maybe my driving buddy wants me to bring the CD in the car tomorrow??

Anyways, the snow began falling this morning and these boots are going to come in way handy tomorrow on the field. Which Maya tells me will be full of snirt (snow+dirt). I'm afraid she's right.

But either way, this time tomorrow I'll be in the car, windshield wipers ablaze, cruising down 84. I have just one more inch of turtleneck and I'll be all done. So even the promise of nasty snow and rain and snirt can't ruin my day. Now I must pack. I have a new and very easy hat design to start and bring along.

And a friend of mine suggested I knit a cozy for my flask - to keep the booze warm. I'm amused by this idea, but I agree AND I might just have time tonight for that too!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We just wrapped up knitting class for this week. Since it's cold and rainy, we had it in front of the fire. Which didn't suck. But all of the sudden, I've got a cold and a sore throat, which does suck. Especially with Rhinebeck just around the corner!

So my students suggested this.

It's a hot toddy. And according to them, it has the power to cure what ails you.
(Hopefully, what ails ME, and before this weekend...)

3/4 cup of tea (I used mint tea)
1 tbs of honey
lemon slice squeezed
shot of burbon

Toss back a vitamin C and some echinacea for good measure.


Is it bad to curl up with this and watch TV at 11am?
I'm thinking maybe a nap too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First the good news. All this tweedy lacy tunic - y goodness. Once again I have to thank the knitting gods for giving me a soothing, therapeutic project to turn to when everything else seemed to go to hell in a handbasket. If it's any indicator of my weekend, I can tell you that this regular length sweater somehow turned into a tunic.

That extra length might have been an unconscious decision, based on my strung out needs these past couple of days, but design-wise, I'm thinking it's a good thing.

This will make a lovely tunic...

See, we had houseguests.
Who aren't my biggest fans, and ho don't drink cocktails, wine or beer. Houseguests who make me nervous enough to spend a few days filling every silence by blathering on and on about all kinds of shit and then wondering if I even made any sense.

Luckily, I had the knitting to keep me sane on the inside even if I seemed like a crazy person on the outside. But, all's well that ends well, right? I have a tunic, my house and family back to myself, and I'm ready to get back to feeling like the competent wife, parent and human that I usually feel like.

Deep sigh. Time to eat some tombstone cupcakes!
(or one of those cider and rum thingys)

Only 4 days till Rhinebeck!!!??

Friday, October 09, 2009

So how about those leaves?

I do live in New England, and it IS mid October, so what's up with this?

And this? Things are curiously green around here still.

(Note to Hilary: They were playing wild animal hide and seek in the trees. You can't see, but there are 7 kids in the yard. And then Zoe, inside on the computer, playing Nick Jr. )

Anyways, in the spirit of "If I make it, it will come." We decided to make a fall cocktail and hang out on the patio, and act like it was time, so the trees might be inspired to move things along. It did get chilly, so I did bust out and wear my new cowl/wrap thing. After the pretty photo, where it served as my fall themed prop.

It's a Glass of Pie. Does that sound wrong? We couldn't decide if it sounded like a euphemism for something dirty. Or if we were just too twisted and bored and shouldn't really even be drinking at 3 in the afternoon anyways.

So if you don't want to offer your friends Glasses of Pie, you can call this an Autumn Pie. Which honestly, may or may not be any better. Give me another idea if you have one.

1.5 oz white rum
.5 oz Hot Damn cinnamon schnapps
(I love that this stuff is called Hot Damn)
quick shot of OJ
fill remainder of glass with cider (about 6 oz?)
ice cubes

I'm guessing this would also be pretty tasty warm, but that'll have to wait for some Actual Cold Weather. In the meantime, enjoy. If you want it a little less sweet, try a shot of lemon juice too. We didn't have any, although I did plan on including it. In the end we decided we like it just fine without.

In further planning for fall, I've managed to get into the body of my white tweedy lacy project. I'm liking this a lot -- we'll see if I get it done to wear to Rhinebeck or if I wear my
cabled brown cardigan with the ties. Not sure.

(I cannot make the paragraph above align properly....)

In Rhinebeck news, I'm all worked out with my partner and a room. And yep, I waited until One Week Before the fair to find a room. Ha. Just try that. After a series of nopes, on a whim, I called a hotel really close in - because, fuck it, what did I have to lose, right?

Turns out I called a hotel in Kingston about 1 minute after someone had cancelled their reservation I and got a room Right There. In Kingston, about 15 mintues away.

I'll be bringing drinks.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I'll take solace in the fact that this is the kind of clothing item she'll be wearing most her days, even if she does look like a Preteen Saloon Girl Devil on Halloween. Her custom order mitts were finished up yesterday, just in time for her to fawn all over them and insist they must be worn all afternoon.

They were needed in order to do the math homework and hang out with her friend Jamie.

And absolutely necessary for the entire fuzzy caterpillar amusement park building session with Zoe and her buddy Gracie.

Before wearing them off to karate, she gave me the Peace Sign. This was followed up with a drawing of a matching scarf incorporating the peace sign. And a request for the scarf. Made out of a different teal from the stash, which she pulled out. With folded over pockets at the ends, an intarsia peace sign on the pocket, and fringe.

Not at all slutty.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I love Halloween - the decorations, the pumpkin beer, making costumes, going out at night - the whole thing. So, meet our new pet - Bob Spidey Colman - in honor of the upcoming day. We've had the web forever and it was high time for a little addition.

We live in one of those neighborhoods that crawl with kids and is full of weird old houses, so we're not the only ones decorating things on the street here. There's even a little system in the hood for peeing and beer refills among the parents who escort the kids around - and really, it doesn't get better than that, does it?

But this year, I've got a problem. Apparently, a few of the kids got together and figured out the whole costume thing themselves. Without me is totally cool - in fact, hey, - even preferred. I'm particularly backing the idea of the costume swap.

But Maya went and borrowed this costume. And I'm kind of hating it. Unfortunately, sharing my thoughts on the matter would only create hurt feelings with the girls and extra love for the dress itself with Maya. But am I nuts or is she about to be kind of the French Maid version of a devil this year?

Ugh. She, of course, thinks it's AWESOME. Just beeeyoutiful. Plus, it came from the 13 year old next door. Double awesome. So, tune in again at the end of the month to see how I manage to de-slut the thing. Cause I will. Must find a black size 8 turtleneck soon...

On the knitting front, we're working in a completely different direction.

Pure as the driven snow, cream colored DK tweed. It was on sale, meant for my hands by a higher power and I couldn't leave it there. Even though I'm supposed to be knitting from stash these days. And who am I to question providence?

!! What a nice literary Heaven and Hell contrast !! I didn't even see that one coming till I typed it. Ah yes.. I'm getting good at this. Heavenly sweater. Hellish costume. That'll keep me entertained for a bit here. Until I make a drink later.

Anyways, I'm working from the top down, using seamless construction here for a change. I have a few ideas for the neckline and sleeves, but will wait and see where the body takes me before I commit to any of them. The DK tweed is soft and lovely - a little thinner than my usual aran, but I'm liking it all the same.

Apparently I lack the ability to knit something from an existing pattern these days.

Friday, October 02, 2009

There's a new store in town around here. We've been waiting for it to open since the late spring when the rumors began to fly. Driving by and checking the progress, and sadly driving off. But, finally, last weekend, it opened. And we are so joyful.

Because this is way more fun than the usual supermarket opening. This place is called H Mart, and it's a ginourmous emporium of anything Asian. In about 30,000 square feet of space. With about 30,000 people inside, who are mostly also Asian. It's pretty much a zoo. I'm hoping it'll die down in a few weeks, but not betting any money that it will.

I did my weekly shopping there this week on kind of a personal dare. (Weekly shopping minus the lunchmeat and cheese, which are pretty absent from the aisles.) It was so much fun, I plan to make it part of my ongoing repetoire. We now have a ton of crazy, unidentifiable stuff to eat in the house - some with English translations, some not so much. I recognized lots of things, guessed on a few, and played Russian Roulette with a few more. The girls were totally surprised at the plastic bags of What The Hell is That that they found in their lunchboxes for snack. Individually wrapped bags with pictures and crazy letters on them. Completely unidentifiable. (Turned out they were dried shrimp snacks - who knew?)

Mostly it's made for some tasty dinners, some way cool new produce selections AND....

one scary drink. (it IS October!)
Trust me, this stuff is good.

But yeah, it's a little weird. If you look closely.

Maybe more than a little weird.

It's Basil Seed Drink.

Yep, those little things that look like tadpoles are basil seeds. Crazy, huh? They are kind of like sweet little not so salty caviars floating in your cocktail. (The girls put a few on their faces and they look like particularly nasty zits. That was unnerving.)

Anyways, I ignored them and made Basil Seed - Lime Martinis yesterday. And really, they were pretty amazingly great. Both my husband and a friend -who used to bartend, so she's a reliable taster, right? - agreed. After they got over the weird factor.

So if you live near a good Asian market and/or like to check out crazy new stuff, here's the recipe to make your own. This makes two.

In a jigger, mix

3 oz vodka
2 oz vermouth
juice of one lime
6 oz of the crazy basil stuff
4-5 ice cubes

Shake it up, pour it out and drink it down. Don't look if it creeps you out.

In knitting news, this red scarf is getting sent off to Norma's Red Scarf Fund Drive. She's having a big ol' raffle with some groovy prizes. You can either donate money or knit up a scarf and send it off. This scarf will be mailed off with a few other items that might just make a needy student's life that much more comfy. (Not the onions, since they'll be part of Korean Short Ribs tomorrow...)

I love the big red woofy wool with the ribbon in it.

It's a Rowan yarn I bought a few years back - and it knit up on giant needles! So now I can get right back to Maya's Mitts and the patterns on my list. Seems my date for Rhinebeck might be dropping out, so I also need to find a new travel buddy. Hmmm.