Friday, January 30, 2009

Self-fulfilling prophesy

Ugh. Of course! I wake up on my fake sick day actually feeling sick! Of course!! Grr. But I've loaded up on sudafed, claritin and advil, so hopefully I'll feel better by tomorrow morning when I'm off to Boston. I'm wondering if this is a trick of the mind. Last night the roommies were watching the House episode where House and Cuddy are on an airplane from Singapore and one person is actually sick and a bunch of others think they get sick but actually it's just mass hysteria, the mind making the body sick. Or it could be that I got such an butt-kicking at work yesterday that my immune system took a hit and one of those myriad germs crawling around the hospital got to me. Ugh. I just want to curl up in a ball.

But instead I'm knitting! Plugging away at my baby surprise jacket. I'm having a blast with garter stitch. I'm using some yarn that I dyed an odd purple-red-pink mix a while back.


Baby Surprise Jacket

But I did something on this project that I don't think I've ever done before: I dropped a stitch! This has happened before. But what hasn't happen: I didn't notice it until many many many inches later! Ugh. And the dropped stitch happened in the first inch of the project, which means it happened late at night when I was only half conscious, cruising away unthinkingly on garter stitch. I'm annoyed. Not sure what to do about it, either. I don't want to leave a big gap in the cast on edge. For now, I've just put a safey pin through the loose stitches in question. I'll deal with it when my head is less cloudy.

Dropped stitch! WTF!

If I can get myself together enough to get out of the apartment, I'm going to go see the movie The Class. I'll let you know how it is. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Olfactory hallucination!

I keep getting wiffs of maple syrup smell. I've been smelling it since I left work, about 1 hour ago. And it's starting to drive me nuts! I've read about this smell before, but never experienced it for myself. Which is why I'm afraid it might be an hallucination. I'm blaming the crazy day I had at work.

I just finished sewing the buttons onto the purple cardi and I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


What I've been knitting: The purple cardi is off the needles and blocking on the living room floor. My goal (to wear it in Boston this weekend) will be met! I went shopping today for buttons. I ended up at Pacific Trimmings on W 38 St.

Pacific trimmings

I got some lovely pale wood buttons that remind me so much of drift wood and the beach. I also got little purple buttons to use as stabilizers on the inside.


The sweater is blocking to hopefully just the right size (I measured it and everything!) and I'm so excited to wear it. I really love the color and the pattern. I would definitely make it again! I'll have some finished object pics next week.

In the mean time, I'm plotting my next project. I've decided it will be a Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm going to use some leftover cascade 220 superwash in purple and white, and some yarn that I dyed myself that's a strange mix of red, white and purple. I'm not really sure what size sweater I'm going to make--I'm just gonna wing it!

What I've been watching: I saw Milk today, which leaves only 4 more movies that I want to see before 2/22 (The Class, The Reader, Waltz with Bashir, and Doubt). What a good movie! Excellently done, quality acting throughout, moving. If only all of history could be told like this. I'm not sure how this one stacks up against Frost/Nixon or Slumdog Millionaire. Possibly better than both? I'm not sure.

Tomorrow I go back to work for 3 days. I have to go write my official resignation letter now; I can put it off no longer! Then to Boston this weekend for a quick trip so that I'll be back in time to go to jury duty on Monday. I think it's kind of fitting that I'm finishing my time in NYC with a stint on jury duty. I better not get called for a case.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Where did the general put his armies?

In his sleevies!

That's right, my purple cardi has sleeves! Two of them! I cast on sleeve number one after work last night, and just cast off #2, barely 24 hours later. My goal is to be able to wear this sweater in Boston this weekend. I've decided to re-knit the bottom of the body. I only did 6 rows of border stitches at the end of the bottom, but I did 14 for the sleeves, and I much prefer the look of the thicker border, plus the thin border of the body keeps flipping up, pulled by the massive stockinette. So I figure I'll do somewhere between 14 and 20 rows of border stitch (aka double seed stitch) on the bottom of the body. Do that tomorrow morning, block the sweater tomorrow afternoon, and go get some rocking buttons to finish the look. Not sure what kind of buttons I should get...Chana recommended some silver celtic type buttons, but I'm feeling like something a bit more rustic perhaps. Or just some simple buttons a shade or two lighter purple. I'm going to head down to ButtonVille tomorrow and try to find the perfect ones!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

And the #1 threat? BEARS!!!

What I've been knitting: Recently finished this little brown bear bonnet for sister's nephew.



I used this pattern, knit the numbers for adult size since I knew my gauge would be off, but I'm still afraid that it might be too small for it's destined 3 year old. The top down bonnet pattern is simple (I also made one for myself, pics to follow); the yarn, Classic Elite Fresco, was a delight; overall, I'm very pleased with this project. For the bear's ears, I used the elephant ears from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, with an extra decrease row. For the face, I used this as inspiration:

And now, a completely unrelated video, for you, Mom:

Friday, January 23, 2009

What I've been watching: Watched Brideshead Revisited from netflix last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it--it's just the kind of period piece that I could get lost in; I'm definitely reading the book. I love being alive in the time of computers, the internet and iPods, but if I could pick another time to be alive, it would be the early 1900's. Emma Thompson did a good job as a super Catholic mother who ruins her children's lives in various ways, the main guy, Matthew Goode (previously seen in Match Point and Chasing Liberty), was super handsome. This is a movie that I could watch again and again.

Having read the Oscar nominations a couple days ago, I went out this morning to a matinee of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button so that I could see for myself what all the fuss (13 nominations including Best Picture) is about. The acting was good, the makeup and set design impecable, but Best Picture? Really??? No way. And it's so flipping long; there must have been a few minutes they could have shaved off here and there. Of the 5 Best Pic noms, I've also seen Frost/Nixon and Slumdog Millionaire, and I think both of these are superior to The CCBB (plus, WTF, where's Revolutionary Road on this list????). I'll be severely disappointed with the Academy if the CCBB is voted Best Picture.

Movies I need to see in the next month, in order of how much I want to see them: The Class, Milk, The Reader, Waltz With Bashir, Doubt.

In neighborhood news: Walking past my laundromat this morning, I saw an unexpected site. The place was closed, the grate was down, and taped to the grate were florescent signs explaining that the business had been closed by order of the Supreme Court of New York for "Illegal Gambling."

Illegal gambling

Crazy! When I came home in the afternoon, I saw that the business owners, a couple I've very fond of (I've been doing my laundry here for 3.5 years, and I've had various members of the family as patients), had put up signs saying that they were sorry, the laudromat was closed due to legal matters, and that everyone who has laundry inside would get it back (a lot of people drop off their laundry to be washed and pick it up a few days later when it's clean). I hope they open back up soon! I don't want to have to find a new laundromat for my last month here. I figure I have 2 or 3 trips to the laundromat left and it would just be hassle fo find someplace new. Boo. They couldn't have waited another month for this debacle??

I've been going through a bit of teenage vampire withdrawal. Any suggestions? I checked Ask Metafilter, searching "twilight withdrawal" but got nothing. Really? No one else has asked what to do to remedy twilight withdrawal? Hmph.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chill out or dance around

What I've been listening to: Oh, Joshua Radin. Can I describe your music as dreamy? Maybe describe you as dreamy? I really enjoyed Radin's first CD, We Were Here, and I think I like this new one, Simple Times, just as much, maybe a bit more. I've only a few listens to it, but the first song that jumped at me was Sky. He sings on it with some woman (maybe Ingrid Michelson?) and it's so lovely. The refrain is catchy: "Oh, oh, oh, oh, you know the way to keep me on my toes/ I, I, I will be fine - just say you'll stay forever mine." Another sing I liked instantly is Vegetable Car, with the refrain: "She drives a vegetable car/ diesel Mercedes, green, two door/ I barely know who you are/ Lisa Loeb glasses I'd sure like to ask you to stay." That's probably the most uptempo song on the album, but still so chill.

When I'm feeling for more engertic music, I turn to Ben Folds's new album, Way to Normal. I never know quite what I'm going to get with a Ben Folds album. I can always count on quality piano playing and slightly off key singing, but what the songs are going to be like is more up for grabs. On Songs For Silverman, many of the songs seemed deeply meaningful, pieces of social commentary or the heartbreaking love-song for his kid, Gracie. Way to Normal is different from the past few Folds release, and, to me, it feels a bit like a return to older stuff, Ben Folds Five stuff, the stuff that made me deeply devoted to Ben Folds when I spent a whole entire summer in the early 2000s listening to Whatever and Ever Amen and the Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Mesner over and over and over... And I'm glad for that. Many of the songs on this album are dance-around-your-bedroom uptempo--a nice antidote to all the moody alt rock flowing from the speakers of my stereo all too often. I bought this album for the song You Don't Know Me, featuring the divine Ms Regina Spektor. I kept hearing this song on the radio (thank you, WFUV) and the chorus would end up stuck in my head for hours! The tune more so than the lyrics is sooooo catchy. And while this song was what originally propelled me to fork over the $ for this CD, Cologne is the song that keeps me listening, the song I want to put on repeat and listen to over and over. This song above all the others really harkens back to the old days of BF5 for me, with its cascading piano and lush orchestration. The chorus is good: "4, 3, 2, 1, I'm letting you go. I will let go if you will let go."
And there's a reference to that crazy lady who wore the diaper to drive across the country to kill her boyfriend. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


What I've been cooking: So I haven't done much in the way of cooking in the past month, but I did make these super tasty cookies today. I'd had these choco chips burning a hole in my fridge, and it was super chilly in the apartment today--good combination for cookie baking. I used this recipe and the result was pleasant, if not extraordinary.


I left out the white sugar, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. Well, maybe I added a few extra chocolate chips. :)

New Day

I've decided to give this blogging thing another go. My goal is going to be once a week. We'll see how that goes...

What I've been knitting: Now that the madness of holiday gift knitting is past, I've been plugging away at a few projects for me. A pair of socks, Flaming Nuts, from the Nutkin pattern.


I've reversed the pattern, I didn't like the way my ssk's looked in the pattern--I much prefer the k2tog. Also, the pattern on the leg really wants to twist, so I decided to do a plain stockinette foot to avoid annoying twisting on the foot. The yarn is Hazel Knits, a Christmas gift from Melisa last year. It's beautiful--soft and squishy!

I finished my second shawl a few weeks ago, and just got around to blocking it yesterday. It's Laminaria, from Knitty. The yarn is Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Lace, and it is just divine. I didn't block this shawl quite as severly as I might have, it's definitely a shawl-ette, but I love it. I wasn't sure what I would do with it when it was done (probably why it took me so long to finish it), but now I've decided that I'm going to keep it.


My main project right now is my adaptation of the 28Thirty cropped cardigain. I'm un-cropping it. I'm using wonderfully cheap yarn, Wool of the Andes from knitpicks, in Amethyst Heather, purchased with a christmas gift certificate. I just started this last week, but it's been cruising along.


What I've been reading: Since I finished school last month, I've been reading up a storm. In the last two weeks I've read the following: The White Tiger, The Emperor's Children, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Twilight #3, and now I'm reading Twilight #4. I could go on an on about why I loved each of these books, but I don't want to sit here at the computer all day.

What I've been listening to: Oh, I cannot get enough to Taylor Swift! I had been mildly interested in her music, but then I saw her performance on SNL and she won me over. Her music is the perfect accompaniment to the Twilight Saga--teen angst all around from every angle. :) I've also been rocking out to a little Mates of State, and mellowing out with Blind Pilot.

What I've been watching: Well, right now I'm watching CNN picture-in-picture with other stuff from the DVR, waiting for the inaugural action to start. Movie-wise, I saw Revolutionary Road a few days ago, and I can see why Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe. I can also tell that the movie was made by her husband. It was a very moving story. Well shot. Another movie I loved recently was Slumdog Millionaire.

Also in the watching department, I watched the whole "season" of Children's Hospital, on my ass off! This spoof of hospital dramas is written and directed by Daily Show alum Rob Corddry. Soooooo funny!

Today is my last day of vacation. So sad that it's ending, but it helps to know that I have less than 5 weeks of work left--which means less than 6 weeks in NYC. I bought my plane ticket to Seattle yesterday, I leave 2/27. Crazy. I've started packing. I packed one box yesterday, moderately heavy. And one today so heavy that I could barely lift it! I'll have to repack that one lighter, some how.

My purple cardi is calling to me. Gotta go!