Tuesday, August 30, 2005

lots of ribbing


I restarted the pink 70s Jacket (I am renaming it because I am not using suede yarn) but the ribbing at the sleeve cuff is not tight enough. I will switch to #5s when they arrive in the mail. I won a mixed lot of 29 pairs of knitting needles, including #5s, for $18.01 + shipping, on ebay today.

It was one of those down-to-the-wire back and forths, and I finally won. Woo-hooo! I actually didn’t realize I had won, either, until I got an email from ebay. It’s kind of a rush. Like when you win at slots.

Because this transaction transpired at work today, I didn’t have a chance to check for a Kitchen Aid Mix Master (thanks for the idea mzundercover.)

I have come to the realization that I have a thing for cuffs. Really neat, interesting cuffs. Like the 70s Jacket has 4 inches of ribbing at the cuff and I love it. The yarn shows the ribbing really well. Maybe cuffs will be a new theme in my work.

Here’s the progress on Sorbet. I was contemplating not making this afterall, but I think I will. It will give me something nice to wear on my birthday anyway.

This is a lot of ribbing. Lot of ribbing...

Monday, August 29, 2005

It's done!!


Well finally Tivoli is complete. I need to wash again and throw it in the dryer to shrink it just a bit. But I am really pleased with how it looks.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Frogging on Sunday Morning


Sometimes you just have to do it. No regrets.

I started the 70s Suede Jacket (from BHG “Knit It!” magazine) many months ago. Then a few months later I learned that I was knitting ALL WRONG. It was working for me, but my sock knitting teacher showed me the right way and I decided to change my wicked ways. It wasn’t easy, but I am glad I did it.

What prompted all of this was the completion of Tivoli. Now I have a hole in my knitting projects list. I have a list somewhere of things I want to make that I thought about digging up. And the anxiety of which project to do next was starting. So instead, I

pulled out the finished projects binder to see what was still hanging. The list was longer than I thought:
70s Suede Jacket
Geometric Scarf from "Vogue Knitting Scarves"
Garter Band Pullover from Berroco(all this needs in seaming, it has been lingering forever)

So why not finish up these things before starting something new and forcing them even deeper into the projects basket.
[End Sidebar]

So I pulled out the jacket. It’s so cute, a nice dusty rose color. I thought about it long and hard. If I continue I will have to revert to my old “wrong” way of knitting so it all looks the same. It’s about half-way done. Decision was made, frog it. Back to the beginning.

In the mail last week was a cooking catalog from JC Penny. Who knew they had such neat cooking stuff? You won't believe the colors you can get your next toaster in.

Like this pink Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation blender.

And this tangerine Kitchen Aid mixer.

I am a sucker for kitchen accoutrement, but must refrain from buying anything that I don’t need/don’t have room for/will use once a year. But if I ever get married, the first thing on the registry is a Kitchen Aid mixer!

Friday, August 26, 2005

A day at the beach


I took a drive to North Beach, Maryland, today. It’s on the Chesapeake Bay, only about an hour drive from D.C. It was so lovely! A quaint, tiny beach town, it was so quiet and relaxing. The Washington Post has a section called “Roadtrip” in the Sunday paper that features day trips around the area. North Beach was the trip a few weeks ago. (The Post has another great feature called “Escapes” which are farther afield than “Roadtrip.” I have piles of them that I never doing anything with.)

There was a boardwalk with shops, a spa, condos, houses, random food, and this lovely clock. So I am minding my own business, strolling down the boardwalk wondering how far it runs along the bay when I hear, “Sarah???”

I turn to see my colleague Ellen and her husband Larry! They saw the Post article too. How funny is that.

There is some knitting involved here, believe it or not. I brought my friend Sorbet along for the trip (and Oprah). I am starting to have second thoughts about Sorbet. It is taking a long time to get just this far, and I am wondering how often I will wear such a slinky sweater. I will keep plugging away while I ponder her fate. I still think it is gorgeous, maybe a special occasion top, because I have so many of those, she said sarcastically.

On my way home I stopped to get cheap $2.66 gas. Nothing was automated, I had “Please Pay before you Pump.” So I obliged, went inside, handed the woman my credit card. When she didn’t give it back and muttered “djapumchet” I was confused.

“Excuse me?”


Gears are turning, turning, turning --- Oh, oh, oh did I pump yet.

“No” – err the sign said to pay first. “You’re going to hold onto my card?”


Uhh, why? Ok, stay calm, you’re in the country.

So I pumped my gas, get back in line behind the kid buying cigarettes and 4 quart-bottles of Miller Lite with 6 singles and 5 dollars in quarters. Stripper maybe?

Close to 10 minutes later I am back on the road. Sheesh.

Loved North Beach but that was my signal it was time to return to civilization.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

chock full o'tomotoes


A few months ago I saw this sweater from Mission Falls and loved the colors and design. It’s a sleeveless tank and shrug (just sleeves). How cool are the flared sleeves?!

But then I found out that MF has discountinued 1824 Cotton. Ugh. 1824 Wool is available but I am not thrilled with idea of this in wool because I get very scratchy. Maybe I need to feel it before I totally nix the idea. So now I am left with finding a substitute yarn and probably changing some of the colors. I am so disappointed. But I can’t let it get me down because I really love this set.

Still chipping away at Sorbet.

And I am half-way through the increases on Tivoli so that will be done soon. Maybe even tonight! That will depend on whether I see Charles… (see Dating below).

Tomatoes. They have peaked. My garden share is chock full o’tomatoes. I have been introduced to these purple beauties. They are delicious, slightly different than red tomatoes. It’s the texture I think, firmer, smoother, thicker if you will. And the flavor is richer… hard to describe but worth a try.

So the whole situation with Charles is a quandry. I am keeping a low profile with him, letting him take more of the lead now that he is back on the scene. But that is hard for me because he doesn’t really know how to date and doesn’t know how to make plans and I really like going on dates and making plans. It is killing me not to call him and see what is happening!

So who called me today on my cell AND my work phone? You got it boys and girls. I was very happy to hear from him. I appreciate the effort he is making. So we might get together tonight, for something or other.

I am taking it slow. Because if I go into full-on Sarah mode, I could scare him off. Like I have scared everyone before and after Charles.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Henry is back now, too. They all come back, don’t they. More on him later.

Monday, August 22, 2005

And the winner is

Look what I won on ebay last night – sock yarn, for $12.50+shipping! This will probably be Christmas gifts. It’s fun to browse the yarn up for bid, but there is so much of it! I have bought a few things on ebay, like my DVD player and an old cookbook for my mother. I find it overwhelming though, like I need to have a specific thing to search for.

I brought Sorbet to work with me today, but only got a few rows done. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous the rest of the week so maybe I will go out to the Dupont Circle (see fountain at left) and knit at lunch time and watch the people. (Pic by Keith Stanley http://www.kestan.com/travel/dc/dup_cir/)

It’s a great neighborhood – business people and bike messengers by day and a mixed crowd of just about everyone by night - college kids, gay men, yuppies, city dwellers, homeless people, and the chess players all the time. It’s funny to be there from between 5PM and 7PM. The population changes so dramatically. There are so many great restaurants and stores, definitely visit if you never have. (It has become overrun by Starbucks, though, boo hisss.)

But 'the circle' one of the reasons I like my job so much. Another reason is the 3 mile, 15-20 minute bus commute. Compared to many of the people I work with who travel an hour or more, each way (why??). I am so spoiled, I will never be able to commute again! I have noticed my tolerance for traffic is about zero.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lazy Sunday

Progress on Tivoli. I has some issues with the first increase round so I had to frog a few rows. Hate that, but I am always glad I did it when it’s all said and done.

I spend a good part of the morning researching bulky yarn for a pullover I saw in a back issue of Vogue Knitting. I only have a bad photo copy so I can’t share it w/you. But it is very neat looking, thick and bulky with a big, shawl collar. Should be a quick knit once I decide on the yarn I want to use.

Those of you that are crazy about Noro, and there are tons of you, should check out ebay. I noticed alot of Noro today when I was browsing.

Other Amusements
I am playing with the color scheme of the blog. What do you think? I am almost there, a few more tweaks.

A typical Sunday for me, watching golf, doing laundry (or at least trying, all 4 machines where in use), lounging around. It’s too hot to do anything but I will probably go for a walk when the sun goes down.

“A Beautiful Mind” was on TV last night. Such a good movie. I am always brought to tears by the scene when he having tea in the faculty dining room with the guy who tells him he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize and his faculty peers present him with their pens. I watched “Late Marriage” this weekend, too. Foreign film so it’s hard to watch, read the subtitles, and knit, but I really enjoyed the story.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Jingle, jingle, jingle

Just a friendly reminder that Christmas is just around the corner (and Hannukah may be even closer). Time to start your holiday gift knitting.

Here is some fun yarn I bought at Michael’s recently. My neices and nephew will love this stuff. They are still at the age where they adore me. Soon enough they will barely acknowledge my presence so I have to enjoy this time while I can. (I know this, my older brother’s kids are at this stage. It’s hard not to take personally, but I try not to. They will come around!) This is the gang I taught to knit a few weeks ago when I saw them in R.I.

I also throw pots, here are some recent examples.

I had always wanted to try wheelthrowing so I took a break from painting about 3 years ago to try it. It was really fun, so different from painting. But my teacher was not so responsive to new students which left me cold. Luckily he had a great TA, I think her name was Elizabeth, who took the newbies under her wing. So I did pottery for a couple of semesters, made a bunch of bowls that I use all the time, and then returned to watercolor.

Last spring I was ready for another break from painting, I was in such a creative slump, so I signed up for pottery again (at the Art League in Alex.), on a different night to avoid the teacher I had before. This class has a totally different mojo and has been a very weird experience. Most of the people in the class are really nice, helpful, chatty. But there are a few doosies. Like the woman who stares at me all the time. All last semester I would catch her staring, and she wouldn’t even look away! It got so creepy, week after week, that I stopped looking in her general direction. It continues this semester. And the woman who told me at the beginning of this semester that she didn’t remember me from the last session. What a thing to admit to someone! So I am not totally psyched about this class either and I think this fall will be my last session for a while. Although I do really like pottery and it’s a nice break from painting. I just need to find the right teacher and the right mix of students…

No dates this weekend. I do have a voicemail from Dave I have to listen to. I am feeling so-so about him. And Charles is away. He is away every weekend (picture me rolling my eyes). I heard from a long-ago ex I met when first started on match.com. They boy is still conflicted. No thanks!

Other Amusements
Corey and I braved the heat to see the Chagall Bible at the John Paul II Cultural Center. Neither of us, being art people, even knew that Chagall had illustrated a Bible so we were curious. It was an impressive building and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I am Catholic, Corey is not, but it really didn’t matter. They have a nice, interactive area on the lower level with a beautiful water fountain. I took some pictures.

Then we went to see Winslow Homer’s watercolors at the National Gallery . As a watercolorist (strictly a hobby) I really get a lot out of seeing Homer’s watercolor work. He was a master of the medium. Had total control and his use of color is amazing. And for non-art people, it’s a beautiful exhibit of watercolor and oil paintings.

We also stumbled upon Irving Penn: Platinum Prints. Wonderful platinum prints he made of some of his more notable work. It includes a wonderful portrait of Pablo Picasso and a series of portraits of Mexican (??) native people.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Sir, you are very lucky

It’s amazing how a day of knitting can produce so little. Well, maybe not a day of knitting. I was home sick yesterday with a sinus infection. So I thought, Great, I can get so much knitting done today! Not.

Below is my progress on Sorbet. It's 2x2 ribbing, on #4 needles, so you see why it's going to be a while. My ribbing is a little off in a couple of places but this section is down at the waist so I figure I can get away with it. There is no pulling out just a few rows with this yarn because it is so fine. Getting the stitches back on the needles would be painful. It's all or nothing.

I took a vacation day today, although I think I am going to claim it to be a sick day on my timecard. I am going to head to Bethesda (Md.) to hit a movie and the yarn shop Knit+Stitch. I took a sock knitting class there in the spring that was really good. It was just one night a week for 3 weeks which was perfect for me.

And I am going to swing by the office and pick up my new digital camera that arrived today. Cool.

Other Amusements
Last Sunday my friend Corey and I went to see “March of the Penguins” in Georgetown. This was a major feat as Corey does not leave the house if the tempurature hits 90. Needless to say, he’s been miserable this summer. So we got there a little early and I cajoled him into taking a short walk down to the Potomac to take a look at what was going on.

As we are approaching that swanky apartment building and that walkway w/restaurants and stores (Bangkok Joe’s is great Thai food, and they have this dim sum thing going on) we hear in the background,

“Excuse me sir. Sir! Excuse me, sir!”

Huh, what, is that guy talking to us? He’s at least 20 feet away so it was hard to tell.

The middle-aged black man in a security guard uniform gets our attention as we cross paths.

“Sir, let me just say how lucky you are.”

“Oh, thank you, yes, thank you,” Corey replies nervously.

Can I die now? I almost called out, “We are not together!” but was so dumbfounded I couldn’t sputter anything.

And then we laughed and laughed.

It was flattering, in a weird sort of way.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It's August for crying out loud

Based on some visits to my favorite knitting blogs today, I am feeling better about my lackluster progress on my current projects. It’s August for crying out loud, I need to cut myself some slack.

I did bring Tivoli to work today to knit@lunch, but of course I ran out of yarn. Ugh. I am getting better about KIP. But some projects are too complicated to take out of the house. If it’s straight forward ‘knit for the next 5 inches,’ no problem. But if I have to look at the instructions every row, nope, not suitable for KIP.

I was pondering starting a lunchtime knitting group in my office building. Anyone done this? Please share your thoughts. I am all clued in on the many knitting groups in DC, but I have yet to ever go to one. Mostly because of time, sometimes location, sometimes my motivation…

Speaking of, I came across the DC Knit-Out & Crochet web site. It is going to be Oct. 23, 2005, from noon -5PM, on the Mall in front of the National Museum of Natural History.

Charles called me last night so we got together. I am glad we have gotten back in touch. I am trying to keep my wits about me, not get nutty. He brings his own set of challenges that I am staying open to.

Dinner and pool on Sat. night w/R. went fine, he’s nice, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I have this feeling that he is waiting for me to slip-up, make a tragic faux pas. Ummm, and I think I fulfilled my prophecy! I don’t think I said thank you at the end of date, for dinner and pool (I sprung for ice cream). Whoops. I didn’t mean any harm. These things happen. I was so disconcerted when he walked me to my car, and made his good-byes a full-car length away.

I met Dave for the first time on Sunday. He had to reschedule our meeting time twice on that day, which started to annoy me, but it was a fine first-meeting. Kept it to 2 hours, drinks and chips and salsa only, no dinner. I think it’s a good idea to keep the first date brief, even if it is going really well. We are meeting for Indian in Arlington (Va.) tonight. This isn’t really going anywhere, either. He’s from the Midwest. Very nice, pleasant, but oh so beige.

Good thing I still find all this dating stuff fun.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Fridays off

I bought this Debbie Bliss merino on ebay recently, my favorite apple green color, and now what do I do w/it? I am thinking about a cardigan because I like wearing those in the cold weather. And this color will work well my mostly-black wardrobe - give it a little color. But that will entail BUTTON HOLES! Another first in my knitting experience.

It has been so freaking hot in DC, I can't even think of putting a wool sweater on. Aaaaahhh! I have been feeling so blech today, I think it's the heat and humidity. I have had this nagging head ache all day.

I have a date on Saturday night! I love going out on dates, they are (errr, can be) so fun. Getting all perty, eating good food, trying a new place, doing something new. R. is taking me to dinner, don't know where yet. But he has taste so it will be somewhere nice.

As opposed to no-taste-D (say that outloud - how funny am I). For our first date we met in Bethesda where there are about a million restaurants covering just about every type of cuisine known to man. But no, we go to this grungy take-out Chinese place on Wisconsin that happens to have a couple of tables. You know what I mean, there are pictures of the food in the back-lit marquee sign.

Wait, it gets better. The air conditioning is out. It had to have been 100 degrees in that place. He is sweating profusely, all over his body. The poor guy! I gave him an out when we were standing there looking at the menu but he said he was OK. I was laughing to myself the entire time we were there, like this can't be happening.

I should have known, though, when he told me he was going to take the metro from G'burg. Huh? I eventually convinced him to drive. He really doesn't like the city, and I live in the city. That, for the unitiated, is a huge red flag.

I am meeting D. (from match.com) for the first time on Sunday. We are going for margaritas at Guapos in Tenleytown. I haven't been there since I was a grad student at AU back in 1995. Egad, time flies. So that should be fun. He seems nice on the phone and email. He's a musician, plays the trumpet.

I can't even broach the topic of C. It's painfilled, makes me have to really take a long hard look at what it is that attracts me to him. Next topic.

Other Amusements
I am taking Fridays off in August so I can make summer linger. I took a trip out the the Udvar-Hazy Air Center (part of the Air and Space Museum) today, near Dulles. It was very cool. There is an actual space shuttle at the museum! And a bunch of other planes of all shapes and sizes. I don't like the Air and Space Museum on the Mall, haven't been there since our family trip when I was 15. My father wanted to visit that place every day. My brother and I finally revolted and sped off the National Gallery. I have been scarred.

Then I made my way to Leesburg, Va. for the first time. The historic area was cute, lots of galleries, food, and shops, but it was too hot to browse. I'll go back one day, though. I kind of reminded me of Old Town Alexandria (Va.) and Charlottesville (Va.).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I do actually knit

I have some WIPs to share. Here is Tivoli, I am probaby half-way there. The yarn is Cantata Jean cotton crepe and I really like it. I got it cheap somewhere on the Internet. It's not thick and stiff like some cotton can be. And here is the raglan sleeve detail which I think is really clever.

Sorbet is underway. (ha) I had to frog on Monday because the tiny needles (#3) were messing me all up w/the ribbing. But that was my practice run, right? The color is gorgeous, like an eggplant. It will make a slinky little top!

I bought this wool and novelty yarn in Boston, at Windsor Button Shop (downtown crossing), when I was at my college reunion (Simmons College, class of 1990) in June. I am going to make my cousin Maura a scarf for Christmas. It is Lambs Pride bulky in a deep, warm fuschia and the novelty is Shang-ri la. This Christmas I am going to be making some of my gifts so I am pretty excited. I have already finished a scarf for my cousin Erin and I am going to make my mother a pair of socks. We'll see how I progress before I commit to anything else.

And I had to share this picture, of me and my nephew knitting together. I saw my family over my vacation a few weeks ago and taught my neice and nephew how to knit. A. picked it up so fast! I could just squish him he's so cute.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Fried Green Tomatoes

As a transplanted Northerner (I grew up on RI), I have been introduced to a couple of southern foods that I love. One is fried green tomatoes. I went to my neighborhood farm stand on Friday to get some veggies and they had green tomatoes. I was thrilled! So for lunch today I made them along w/another of my new favorite foods, sweet potatoes. I found a recipe for Sweet Potatoe and Ginger Salad in "Everyday Food," a really good magazine BTW. (But beware Martha Stewart haters, she publishes it.) We did have sweet potatoes every Thanksgiving when I was growing up, but they were covered w/butter and marshmallows. Ick! They are so wonderful just roasted in the oven w/a little salt and pepper. I think it's the texture and consistancy that I find to satisfying, kind of like chick peas.

I am plugging away on Tivoli. I am at the decreases, will probably finish by the end of the week. If the frigging heat continues, though, I will be done sooner. When it's this hot and humid I don't even step outside, resultinging in crazy cabin fever. Hmmm, another southern delicacy, summer cabin fever. I am used to climbing the walls in the dead of the RI winter.

Other amusements
I went to see "Wedding Crashers" last night. Hilarious! I have this little rule of not seeing comedies in the theater, but I have heard so much about this movie (and Corey didn't want to see "March of the Penguins") that I broke the rules. Highly recommend it.

And I highly recommend "Off the Map" which just came out on DVD. Wonderful story about this family that lives out in the middle of the desert and the father (Sam Elliott) is depressed. Hmmm, that is a horrible description - just take my word for it!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Knitting on a plane

I like knitting on a plane because I get so much done! There aren't any interruptions, except for a drink or bathroom break. On my way back from RI on Thursday, the plane from Providence was delayed about an hour so I pulled out Tivoli. This has been fun to knit because I have never done raglan sleeves before. So I took it on blind faith that it would start to look like something eventually. And it did! It's like turning the heel on a sock. As I am knitting the short rows it's not making any sense. But after a few rows, viola, it looks like a heel. (I need to buy a digital camera so I can share my progress.)

When I was on vacation at my parents' house, my younger brother and his kids came for a couple of days. I knew that Madison (8), Andrew (7), and Hannah ( 3 1/2) would want to try my knitting so I brought some extra needles w/me. After asking me repeatedly to try working on my sweater and being so patient as I put them off, I relented and pulled out some circs I threw in my bag. I had read that kids don't really have the fine motor skills to learn to knit until they turn about 10 years old, but Madison and Andrew proved them all wrong! Andrew picked it up almost immediately, I was amazed and so happy. Madison is a perfectionist and got very frustrated, but came around after a little coaxing (and not wanting to be left in the dust by little brother). Andrew is going to find out if the Cub Scouts have a knitting badge. At one point he asked me if knitting was only for girls, but I assured him that wasn't the case. I hope the Cub Scouts do have a knitting badge to reassure him and keep him knitting. They were so great! I love being an auntie. They are so fearless and open to everything. I learn a lot from them.

I did not have a chance to start Sorbet in San Jose. I didn't pack the right knitting stuff, to my utter frustration because that was a long-a$$ flight. I saw "Guess Who" on the flight back. It was so funny! I watched it only to pass the time, but was so pleasantly surprised. Bernie Mac is so funny and Ashton...delicious. Rent it.

Back in May I met C. on match.com. We started dating, things were going pretty well, even though he was away literally every weekend-a huge frustration for me. He was very together, even keeled, was not afraid to share his feelings w/me, successful, educated, had interesting hobbies, good looking. But I hit my 2-month limit and started arguing w/him, blah blah blah. (I have a pattern, I KNOW.) So we broke up. I was surprised and disappointed, but this has happened before so I licked my wounds for a day and moved on, reposting my ad on match.

Well out of the blue, last week who do I get an email from but C. I was shocked. He told me he had been thinking about me a lot lately, he might have been a little hasty, he missed me. So we are going to make another go of it. The saga continues. They all come back eventually, don't they?

He knows that I am back on match, in fact I am meeting R. today for coffee in Dupont Circle. But now I am thinking about C. too much and may be loosing interest in R.

Ugh. I am so bad at this.

They queue from last week is dwindling. D. is really nice, but we are not compatible. I think he will just drift away which is fine. It happens.