February 27, 2010

I'm walking on sunshine!

Oh, hello snow day, my old friend.  I used to dream of you as a child, but you seldom visited us in the City of Roses.  No matter, you're now making up for your formerly withholding nature.

My office was closed today due to inclement weather, so instant three-day weekend.  Brooklyn is so pretty in the snow.  It's almost as though the brownstones were made for this stuff.

After shoveling myself out from the 18+ inches that fell over night, I crocheted for a bit, working on some potholders I'm making for a swap, then headed into the city to meet  my friends Jim and Rolando for pancakes.

February is National Pancake month and Clinton Street Bakery, possibly my favorite food spot in Manhattan, features pancake specials all month long.  And I do love a good pancake.  I'm almost maniacle about them.  The problem with this place is that it gets mad crowded, and with today being a snowday, crowds were even more intense.  I'm kind of embarassed to admit that we waited about 75 minutes for a table, but our food was so incredibly delicious, that the payoff was worth it.

My plan was to come home after pancakes and keep crocheting.  What actually happened was that I took a three hour nap, 5 pm - 8 pm.  It's terribly disconcerting to wake from a nap and see that it's dark outside.  My first thought was that it was 6am, as it's still dark here at that time. That I was wearing street clothes is how I realized what had happened. I blame it on the Olympics; I've been staying up way too late every night watching the human drama unfold.  How can one not?

But pancakes and Olympics arent; the o nly things that have been happening around here this month.  No, there was also some sock knitting going on.  To wit:

Pattern:  Spring Cables, by Elinor Gray
Yarn: Okay Knits Muthoni
Needles: US 0/2.0mm
Started: February 1
Finished: February 11

I've been trying to knit a pair of socks for about a year and a half now, and have made several starts, but never completed one sock, let alone a pair of socks.  I was understandibly excited, then, when someone from my knitting group suggested a sock-a-long for February.  I started these on Feb. 1, using the US2s recommended by the pattern, but the resulting fabric was way too loose and ugly.  Switching to US1s didn't help much, so I made the leap down to US0s.  So, I learned the importance of swatching, and that I knit rather loosely in the round.  Once I got going, the socks sailed.  Cuff down, simple and straightforward with just a bit of cable and seed stitch.  Fun, yet easy enough to do while standing on the subway on the way to work.

The yarn I bought from the dyer, who is a friend of mine, back in December.  I had initially wanted to use it to knit a shawl, but was convinced to use it for the socks, and I'm so glad that I did.   It's Bluefaced Leicester, which has long fibers that are more resistent to friction holes than many other wools.  More importantly, it's really soft, making for super cozy socks.  And the color is like the sun, hence the hoakey title of this post.

February 20, 2010

Hey, you! I know you! I know you!

It was a sunny, warm beautiful day today, a good day for running errands.  At the farmer's market I ran into my friend Matt, who was standing in line to buy Ronnybrook milk and yogurt cheese.  It always makes me happy when I see a friend out and about.  Two weeks ago I had a string of friend sightings on my morning runs in Prospect Park, and they made me unreasonably happy. And about a week before that, I had a super exciting sighting on the fly: Craftivore was in town and I spotted her at the Brooklyn Flea.  We'd never met, but had become Ravelry friends, and I'm a great admirer of her work, esp. her colorwork.  Anyway, unlike when I see someone I "actually know", I was apprehensive about approaching her, worried about seeming like a freaky-deaky stalker.  I saw knit designer Ysolda Teague last summer on the Brooklyn Bridge, but didn't say anything for just that reason.  But the excited part of me won out, and Craftivore couldn't have been nicer, even snapped a photo of us.  It just so freaking charming and small-town to bump in to friends on the street when you live in a city of 8 million.

After seeing Matt I went to Target to return an ugly and ill fitting dress and decided to pick up a few other little things. Like I said, it was a warm day and I was feeling springy, so I bought this:

A good neutral, yet pretty color.  Yeah, well, I went to put it away and found this:


Well, I'm nothing if not consistent. 

Oh, and the title of this post?  It comes from 1980s SNL skit, featuring Harry Shearer and Martin Short as aspiring synchronized swimmers.  Please watch and enjoy.

via videosift.com

February 10, 2010

Snow Day

Today we had a lot of this:

So I did a bit of this:

And now, am enjoying some of this:

I love snow days!

February 7, 2010

Now we're cooking with gas!

Ooo wee, look what I got:

Mmm hmm, a swift. That's right.  I really, really wanted one and wasn't about to shell out the money for one, which makes this a terriffic gift.  A perfect present, really. My friend Amy had ordered this for me back in December, but it was backordered, then she was swamped at work so we didn't see each other for a month.  Last night, she had me over for a lovely, old fashioned dinner (roasted cauliflower with a kalamata drizzle, roasted chicken and garlic mashed potatoes) and a viewing of multiple episodes of The First 48, one of my most favorite TV shows that I never get to watch because I don't have cable.  Add presents to the mix, and we're talking about a pretty, pretty great evening.  Plus, I'm now set up to make more neato items, like this:

Pattern: Shroom, by Lee Wood Juvan
Yarn: Punta Yarns Merisoft Spacedyed
Needles: US9/5.5mm & US11 8.0mm
Started: January 11
Finished: January 11

I totally and completely bit this from my friend Ewephoric.  She made this hat, with this yarn, in this color.  There is no, I repeat no, shame in my game.  When I saw her Shroom, I was so drawn to the color, which is incredibly deep and vibrant and shot through with streaks of bright.  It seems to me to be a visual representation of rhubarb and cream, brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon.  Within two weeks, I had trotted myself off to Downtown Yarns in Manhattan to purchase a skein.  With the yarn held doubled, I was able to whip this up  this up one night after work.

Despite the lacy holes, this hat in this yarn is really toasty, and after a funky warm patch, we're back to having chilly winter weather in New York, which is good news for me and my knitwear.