Monday, February 27, 2006

Oh the mystery

Still chugging away at the spiral scarves for the girls. I leave for N.H. on Friday so I need to get them all done by Thursday night, but I am more than half-way there. I bring them wherever I go these days to get a few stitches in here and there.

I considered sitting in the kitchen and knitting during lunch at work today. I usually do it at my desk. I probably would have freaked out the co-workers. I have worked at my job for 6 years now and I love that my colleagues know so little about me. Anything I do that is a little different is cause for alarm. Oh the mystery.

I am not particularly fond of some of my colleagues. I have never bought into the fake family atmosphere that lingers. It gives me the creeps, actually. For example, we have parties if people are leaving, having a baby, getting married – I guess that covers the special occasions – that includes a collection for a gift, snacks, cake, the fiancĂ© or fiancĂ©e, some sort of presentation from the boss, you know the drill. They can be so painful because it seems so forced.

I finally put my foot down last month when I boycotted the getting-married party for a guy that I can’t stand. And I am feeling pretty good about it. I tend to have very strong principals.

I digress. This really is knitting content! Read on.

Corey and I went to Fast Eddie’s in Alexandria to get some dinner and play pool on Saturday night. I was wearing the bell-sleeve shrug that day (and I got 2 compliments earlier in the day!) and it was working for me. I didn’t know how comfortable it would be and if would I feel like something was missing, but it was fine, I am happy with it.

So I am innocently standing there, sucking at pool but having fun because Corey keeps hitting the 8-ball into the pocket, handing the win to me, when this very buzzed girl who was playing two tables down from us (we will call her Whale Tail) comes over and starts trying to unroll the back of the shrug to lay flat. Whale Tail mutters something like it has been driving her crazy all night, does her thing, and goes back to her table. It all happened in a matter of moments and was surreal. Even now, thinking about it, it was like a flash.

I guess I could have returned the favor and gone over the pulled up her jeans that flashed her thong everytime she bent over.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The final word

Knitters, we have arrived. This is from today’s Miss Manners column:

Dear Miss Manners:
I am a knitter. I took up the hobby a few years ago as a remembrance of a relative who was an avid knitter, and I found that it satisfied me in unexpected ways. It reminds me of my relative, relaxes me and provides a creative outlet.

Naturally, one of the most enjoyable aspects is giving the items I produce to friends and relatives and seeing them in use. Last year I made a little sweater in my niece's favorite color and sent it to her "just because." She liked it and wore it, and I saw pictures of her in it, which was all very gratifying. Recently I saw that my sister had listed it for sale on eBay as part of a large batch of used clothes for sale. It sold for a pittance. I feel kind of hurt and upset over this.

I haven't confronted her because I'm not sure what I really expected her to do with it when it no longer fit. This just makes me very uncomfortable and concerned about the disposition of future gifts. They take a lot of time and money to create. Each one is made with a specific person in mind, and to me that makes it priceless, in a way. Still, I understand that a gift is a gift and it would be improper to request it back. What do you think?

That you had hoped that the sweater would be kept as an heirloom to be passed to your niece's children and grandchildren. You have, Miss Manners observes, a charmingly sentimental nature, as evidenced by your continued association of your hobby with your relative.
But you cannot require this of others. A present is a present to be used as the recipient chooses. True, the giver should be spared pain, but the chances of your finding this on eBay -- please tell Miss Manners you weren't looking for it -- are so small as to be considered an accident.

knitting trance

Have you ever found yourself in a knitting trance? Must. get. this. done. If my condo was on fire I wouldn’t have budged from my spot on the couch last night. These spiral scarves I am making for my friends I am going to see in March might be the death of me.

I breezed through the first two which really surprised me. But they weren’t that twisty and looked a little skinny. I held them up with other one I made months ago and noticed that it weighed a lot more. So I finally admitted to myself that something was wrong.

I read the pattern, all 10 lines, a couple of more times and the light bulb turned on. Every stitch is a YO in the increase row. I misunderstood, thinking I was YOing, then knitting, then YOing, then knitting. But no, the YO is a stitch in and of itself, not part of a knit stitch.

Back to the beginning Sarah.

The bright side is I bought Homespun in a color (Sierra) that I would not have bought for myself and I really like it. There I go thinking outside of the box again.

This project is what is inducing yarn-trance. But it’s hard to watch triple-axels and Chad and Shani snipe at each other (come on ladies!) and knit at the same time. Kind of like watching a sub-titled foreign film. Impossible.

But for now I am back to the scarves…

However, when I am done, lookey what I bought, on SALE, for the Sunrise Circle Jacket.

Peruvian “Sierra Aran” in Mulberry, on sale at for $2.98 a ball. This is a deep purple with a slight heather so it's not totally flat. They have some really nice colors. I really like the orange in the picture, but it's really not my color.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Shopping and Sushi


Here is the progress of the spiral scarves that I am knitting for my friends I will see in March in NH. I am rolling through them really quickly. Maybe I will finish over this long weekend.

AC Moore is having a Midnight Madness sale tomorrow, Feb. 19. Save 25%! Here's the link.

Chris is still lingering. I called him to do my part to keep whatever this is limping along. (Why is he calling? He hasn't asked me to do anything so what's the point??) He shocked me this week.

So he lays it all on the line, telling me that he "digs" me, that I am hard to read (agreed), that he wants to get together when he gets back from vacation and lay it all out on the table. He even used a Clark Kent/Lois Lane analogy.

Cool. But the cynic in me is saying, Yeah, sure, heard this all before. I am hopeful, but guarded per usual.

I met an old flame for a drink after work last night. We figured out that we hadn't seen each other in a year. Sheesh. It was bittersweet, I really liked Henry but it didn't work out. I don't think he liked me as much as I liked him. And his job is his life which was problematic for me. I was really down when we parted ways which surprised me.

So I went shopping! And then got sushi.

I was instantly feeling better.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hooked on the Olympics


How perfect is this jacket?

Even more perfect because Interweave Knits is giving the pattern away for free on their website.

I was flipping through the magazine that arrived yesterday while watching the Olympics. (Every time they roll around I think, “Nah, not that interested,” but then get hooked.**) There are a few cute patterns - in the magazine - which surprised me because I usually don’t really like their offerings. Check that. I like the patterns, very hip and funky. They don’t fit my personal style.

The detail on this is so beautiful:

I am a sucker for interesting sleeves:

I have taken a detour on my New Years resolution to finish lingering projects to make a few spiral scarves for my college friends who I will be seeing in March. I am actually going to surprise them!

They live near each other in N.H./Maine and have started getting together for dinner once a month, leaving me so jealous. I miss them so much. So Deb and I are planning my role as special guest star at their March dinner. And we aren’t going to tell Beck, Sue, or Heather. So much fun!

The spiral scarf knits pretty quickly and I have cut the size about a quarter, casting on 85 stitches verses the 110 the pattern calls for. But it still will be plenty long enough to wrap around the neck a few times.

** Back to the Olympics

I found myself enraptured by the snowboarding half-pipe on Sunday and Monday night. Whoda thunk? I don’t ski, don’t snowboard, but these slacker Millennials had me hooked.

I love the speedskating, too. It is so beautiful to watch, the strides so graceful and powerful. And those thighs. Yikes. But that guy Chad from Texas creeps me out a little.

What has been ticking me off though, is hearing little bits and pieces of news and results during the day on the radio. How about a little warning NPR? You’re ruining it for me.

Happy Valentine’s Day. And that’s all I will say on that topic.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Snow day


I didn’t get as much knitting done as I had hoped. Do I ever? I found so many other things to do with my snow day. I felt like it was “free time” because I was stuck in the house and couldn’t do anything else. So I had to do all this stuff that I could have done any other time.

Plunking around on the Internet, I found this yarn on sale. I love the colors, especially this one

and this one

OK, I like them all!

I spent a fair amount of time yesterday searching my stockpile and the Internet for the right pattern but I am stumped. This yarn is bulky, a weight I don’t love. But the colors keep me coming back. I have considered a hat and scarf, or a cardigan like the Cutaway. A pullover sweater would be too much for me in bulky yarn. I don’t like that feeling of being lost in my clothes. I didn’t do well when the fashion was wearing stuff that was too big.

Do you buy for a pattern or buy for the yarn?

I suppose I could buy enough to make a cardigan and wait for the perfect pattern to find me. But I don’t feel right buying yarn I don’t have a use for yet. It’s like when I go clothes shopping, If I find a skirt I have to find something to go with it at the same time or I don’t buy it. How many lonely skirts or pants are hanging in your closet, waiting for a match?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

All flights cancelled because of rain


Here’s the progress on the 70s jacket. This is the bottom half of the body of the sweater. That little tail thing is actually the tie in the front. Here’s a mediocre picture of the actual sweater.

I was hoping for some quality knitting-on-a-plane time but that’s not happening anymore. Because of the terrible weather (eyeroll). I was supposed to fly out to LA today, on a business trip. I arrived at National to find all flights on American Airlines were cancelled, until tomorrow at 5:00 PM. Egads, it was freaking raining out when I got to the airport! I was so annoyed. So I think I am going to cancel the trip altogether. It’s not worth flying all that way for one day. I was supposed to meet up with my friend Sophie and she was going to show me sights. And it was going to be warm and sunny. Ugh. I will stop bitching and moaning now. Winter is finally here. Better late than never!

I am snow-bound now so I will get some knitting in. That’s a bright note to this annoying day.

We all (single people) have a back burner. That place that you keep people you aren’t really dating but want to keep around in case of emergency. And I know I am on a couple of back burners.

Like Henry for example. He has a brand new 6-burner cook top and I have permanent residence on the back back-burner.

We met a couple of years ago on match, dated for a while, but it didn’t work out. His life revolves around his job and that drove me crazy. He would consistently cancel our plans the day of, reschedule, cancel the day of, lather rinse repeat. I still scratch my head as his track record. It wasn’t like it was every once in a while. It was every time we had plans. But the silver lining was I finally recognized that people don’t change. So I really have to thank him for that.

He resurfaced in December after nearly to a year, around our mutual birthday. I am always so shocked when I see him in my inbox as I leave all communication up to him. So we have tentative plans to meet for drinks next week. I won’t really believe we are meeting until I am leaving the office on the way to the bar.

For the record, he has a girlfriend now. It’s too bad because he is very attractive - a big, tall, black man. Wears glasses, nice hands, good sense of humor. Dee lish.

Chris is lingering. Not sure what to do with him. He calls every few days, we talk for less than 10 minutes, and we hang up. Am I on yet another back burner?

Other Amusements

Corey and I went to see “Something New” last night. Seeing that I date mostly black men, I found it particularly appealing. Plus I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy. The movie was pretty good, although during the first 45 minutes or so I wouldn’t have been so kind. A little slow to ramp up.

It hit the high points about interracial dating, particularly the issues that arise with your close friends and family. My friends and family know I date outside of my race and they don’t seem to take issue. But it would be a little different I think if I ever married someone who isn’t white. I think it would take some people a little time to get used to the idea. But that is their problem, not mine.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

in case you were wondering

I saw this on Knitting Angel so I thought I would play along.

4 jobs you have had in your life
1. Cashier
2. Babysitter
3. Periodicals assistant
4. Museum assistant

4 Movies you could watch over and over
1. Summertime
2. Swingers
3. Singles
4. sex, lies, and videotape
(what’s w/the esses?)

4 places you have lived
1. Rhode Island
2. Boston
3. Austria
4. Washington, DC

4 TV shows you love to watch
1. Lost
2. Las Vegas
3. Girlfriends
4. Seinfeld

4 places you have been on vacation
1. San Francisco
2. Belize
3. Paris
4. Cape Cod

4 websites you visit daily
1. DC Blogs
3. Yahoo

4 of your favorite foods
(you mean today?)
1. ice cream
2. cheez-its
3. tofu
4. vegetables

4 places you would rather be right now
1. a warm-weather beach
2. out with a nice boy
3. in a yoga class
4. I guess I am pretty content

4 bloggers you are tagging
If you can read this, you’ve been tagged

Monday, February 06, 2006

She just shrugged and walked away


Bell sleeve shrug, from Beatknit Patterns, is done. I seamed it up between Superbowl commercials last night.

Sidebar: My favorite commercial was for, with the monkeys partying in the conference room to celebrate sales being up. The human colleague comes in and adjusts the chart to show that sales are really down. The monkeys flip the chart, though, and continue the party. Nothing is funnier than chimps acting like humans.

The shrug is a new style in my wardrobe so I think it is going to take a little getting used to. It just feels weird, like something’s missing. I liked the way the edge of the sleeves curled a bit so I started the seam about an inch from the edge.

I love how the colors in the Katia Nepal yarn came together. Very bohemian.

I also restarted the 70s Suede Jacket, in TLC Cara Mia. I frogged the entire bottom half of the piece when I discovered about a year ago that I was knitting wrong, twisting every stitch. I debated long and hard about pulling it out or leaving it.

Other Amusements
Corey and I went to see the Chinese New Year parade in downtown DC yesterday. I have been wanting to go for the 10 years I have lived here but being on travel, not knowing when it was, and bad weather has kept me away. But not this year! I started the Year of the Dog right.

It was hard to take pictures with my digital camera because of the delay. Very annoying! But I did get one good shot of a dragon. It was a fun day. We went to Good Guys for burgers and fries after.

I think things with Gabriel have fizzled. His emails were so eloquent and lovely to read. But our phone conversation fell kind of flat. In the end, we don’t really have all that much in common. He spends a lot of time at the gym and playing tennis and I, well, don’t.

Chris is lingering. Not sure why he got back in touch. But I will wait this one out.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Virtual Poetry Reading

Grace's Poppy's called for poetry today so I am delivering. I wish I spent more time reading poetry because I remember liking it in school. This is such a meloncholy poem, I have always loved it.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost (1874–1963).

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Pattern help


I am looking for a pattern for a sweater that looks like this:

but has sleeves. Anyone?

I am ripping out Sorbet. It’s a beautiful, sexy sweater but so impractical. So now I have 8+ balls of Rowan Cashsoft in Loganberry

I am not advanced enough, nor all that interested, in figuring out how to add sleeves to this pattern. But I am sure there is something out there.


I have said it before and here I am saying it again.

They all come back, eventually.

I can feel the nods and snickers gentle readers. You know it’s true!

Chris sent me a text message the other day, wondering where I went, hoping he hadn’t offended me.


You didn’t return my calls, remember?

(The very brief history: I met him in Craigslist in December. We went out a couple of times, had a good time. But then he disappeared. Not wanting to look over eager, or like a stalker, I have a two-call rule with a new guy. If he doesn’t return my call after I make two attempts I stop trying. Which I did.)

I replied to his text with an email because I just don’t get the whole text-messaging thang. I think I am too old. I was short but sweet, as not to scare him off even though I was a little perplexed (read: annoyed).

He called me at the office today but I let it go to voicemail. That is not a conversation for work for crying-out-loud. Then he didn’t leave a message leaving me to wonder, is he going to rely on caller ID to let me know he called?

Don’t you hate when you have evil thoughts about a person, and then they turn around and do the complete opposite of what you expected from them? Yup, that’s what happened. He sent a very nice message that he will try me later tonight.