Friday, July 27, 2007

When it rains it pours

This week has been a whirlwind of social activities. When it rains it pours! Does that happen to you? I met Kani, from IntellectConnect, on Monday at the Four Courts; dinner at David Greggory with my friend Linda who was here from Florida for a few days; Wed. I bailed on MeetUp; Thurs. is yoga night. Tomorrow I volunteer and then go to the Walters with Christina. Sunday I am meeting Young Dave, finally, for a beer.

The Highlight

The trip to Gettysburg last Saturday with the Capital Hiking Club was so much fun. Our guide, Larry, was a wealth of information. And there were other Civil War buffs/experts on the hike who added even more information.

All of the people in our group were so pleasant and easy to talk to. Ages ranged from 10 to 70-ish, men, woman, singles, couples. In the end I am so glad I went alone. I had invited the Craiglist girls but no one ended up signing up. That group is getting on my nerves, but more about that later. If I had been with people I knew, I don’t think I would have mingled. So alone can be better.

And I even got a date out of it! Bonus. I was totally not expecting that.

Tonight I am off to Sears to buy a new garbage disposal. My glamorous life!


I posted the before and after dimensions and pictures of the French Market Bag to Flickr (see the box in the right column). I would say it shrunk about 25% in the felting process in the washing machine. I have a feeling it won’t shrink so much when hand-felted. But I need to do some experimenting.

Friday, July 20, 2007

First Felted Bag


Here’s my finished French Market Bag. Isn’t is cool? I am really excited about this felting thang. I am thinking Christmas presents.

Here’s the before picture so you can see how much is shrunk. Pretty dramatic.

When I was in RI last week I used my mother’s washing machine to perform my first felting experiment. I would say it was a success. I feared that the two purples that I chose were too subtle next to each other but they aren’t at all in the finished piece.

While this whole thing was easy to knit and the felting is cool, the shape of this bag is not going to be that useful for me I don’t think. The sides aren’t really that high and the straps aren’t long enough.

But next time I will know how to alter the pattern. I also think the next time I will hand felt which will give me more control. The washing machine was pretty rough and I left it in about 8 minutes, a little longer than I had wanted, but I got distracted watching “What Not to Wear.”

Love that show. And the few episodes I caught when I was getting my fill of cable TV at my parents house featured very willing and cooperative participants. Sometimes they are awful, kicking and screaming through every step, from new clothes, to hair, to makeup. Jeez, they are making you over, have fun with it.


Well, I think I am inadvertently online dating again.

In my daily scouring I regularly saw a post on Craigslist for Seeking Intellectually Curious Who Love Fine Arts? Have you seen it?

So I click on the above mentioned post to find, a new free online dating and friending site. I questioned whether I was smart enough for these potential dates. But I jumped in (I think the FREE was the hook I needed), created a profile, and then kind of forgot about it. Until I got a response a couple of weeks ago from a man who seems charming, nice, looking for friends, likes cultural pursuits, lives nearby in Woodley Park. So we are meeting next week for a beer.

I say inadvertently because this past spring when Gabriel just simply stopped calling and returning my calls, after a year of dating, I decided to take a break. So my focus has been on meeting people to do things with, like hiking, museums, going out to dinner, all the things you do with a boyfriend but without the complications of actually having to consider another person. (Yikes that sounds selfish. But you get my point.)

So I met that group of women on Craigslist and I have become involved in MeetInDC and, and a few other things. And it’s all coming together, the work is paying off and I am meeting some new people and have some fun things on my calendar.

Like tomorrow I am going to Gettysburg with the Capital Hiking Club. I have never been to a Civil War site – shame on me, living in the South and all. I don’t know anyone on the trip, but that’s part of the adventure. I have an introverted personality so I have to force myself to do social things by myself. This will be a good exercise for me.

Just for laughs, I recently trolled around, the old stompin’ ground, and all I saw were the same old faces, reading the same old profiles (“I am comfortable in a jean and a tux,” “I SCUBA dive and climb mountains, all in the same day,” “Looking for my soul mate as long as she looks like a super model”) so I give up on the online dating scene.

I had fun over the many years on match, met tons of men, went out on tons of dates, but I am done with that.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Speed Dating Virgin

My friend Corey tried speed dating for the first time last night and he is hooked. He is already setting up the next venue, insisting that I go with him.

Have you tried it? Was it worth it? Did you meet interesting people?

Tell me what you think. I am actually considering it. I really have nothing to lose.

And Rob Brezsny keeps telling me to reinvent myself every week this year.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bookmark review

Every once in a while I check in with my lengthy knitting blogs bookmarks. If there hasn’t been an activity in a couple of months I delete it, knowing that is will be replaced by something equally as entertaining.

So here are some of the highlights of this evening’s tour:

A quilt made out of leftover sock yarn at Mya Finari Posts

SaunShine has moved to NYC to follow her dream of fashion design

I always enjoy seeing what the Knit Smiths are up to

Ysolda is so eloquent,

I’m still in love with the fabric that the Rowan Bamboo Soft makes, even if the splitting is a total pain in the arse. But it feels like a much loved, well worn t-shirt.

Sweaters for Squirrels – this is good for a guffaw

I am disappointed with the Daily Knitter, the new site from Interweave. There isn’t anything there, really, that I have not already found somewhere else. And the free patterns are weak. I will give it a little time, but if there’s no improvement in the depth of content .

This finished Sunrise Circle Jacket is gorgeous, such attention to detail, such a great fit.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th and a day off in the middle of the week

A day off in the middle of the week is weird. Last night I kept thinking it was Friday.

I got my fill of George, Brad, and the crew last night when I went to see Oceans 13 in Georgetown. And the added bonus was Julian Sands! I remember falling in love with him watching “A Room With a View” at the Copley Place movie theater in Boston when I was in college. The strong silent type gets me every time. Throw in an English accent and I am putty.

I had heard that O-13 wasn’t very good, the story was flat, the acting was OK. But I really liked it. Granted, if the actors were all average looking I probably would not have liked it so much. There is something about a well-dressed man, you know? Even an OK looking guy can ratchet it up a notch by wearing clothes that fit and are stylish.

I am headed down the The Mall this evening to see the fireworks. In the 12 years I have lived here I have never been. Crowds are not my favorite thing. But I also feel like I need to do it once in my life. I will just do my yoga breathing and I should be fine.

I can actually see the fireworks across the street from the St. Alban’s church property. There is usually a pretty good crowd over there every July 4th at 9 o’clock. But it’s so far away, it is nothing like being there. And I love fireworks.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Vida is muerta.

Or at least crooked. The needle layed across the front shows how crooked it is. Yikes!

How did this happen? Could it be the reverse stockinette? I am scratching my head. I rinsed it in water and blocked it but I am not convinced that will solve my problem. I am going to query the KnitList. They know just about everything about knitting. (Amazing wealth of knowledge on that listserv.) And I really don’t want to start the front if I have to change something dramatic to make it symmetrical.

I bought some sale yarn from this week. This Highland Peruvian Wool (in Dusky Purple and Wisteria) is for my first French Market Bag (free pattern here). I have been wanting to try felting for a long time now, but I think my block has been a lack of a washing machine that I can control (I use the machines in my condo).

I know I can hand-felt but the machine looks a lot easier. So in a couple of weeks I am going to R.I. to see my parents, and celebrate my mother’s 70th b’day, so I am going to try it out on her machine. Now the pressure to get the back knit in time. I also hope the colors aren't too subtle. I didn't want to the obnoxious color-scheme route because this bag is kind of large.

There is a nice gallery of finished bags here. Too bad the blog owner isn't still posting finished pics.

I also bought Berocco “Hip Hop” on sale for $5.25 a skein. I love the colorway of this yarn, my pictures don’t do it justice. I might try felting a swatch of this to see what happens to the colors, if they melt together in an interesting way, or not.

Fun in D.C.

Yesterday was Smithsonian day. It’s Folklife Festival time here in D.C. and I had more fun than I thought I would. I did my regular volunteering gig in the morning at the Freer Gallery and stuck around, got some lunch – ugh, 30 minutes in the Mekong Delta food line – which took the edge off the maddening food line, and hung around to listen to some live folk music.

I heard some great bluegrass (Whitetop Mountain Band) and got my fill of all types of Irish music including my favorite Highland pipes. Robert Watt was great and very dramatic with his bald head and funky glasses. Four Guys and a Dog were great, too, go see them if you can. Fun, lively, toe-tapping, people out on the dance floor, they had the tent rocking.