Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Random Wednesday (Late Edition)

1)  I cannot stop listening to the song "9 Crimes" by Damien Rice.  Can. Not.  Stop.  I also cannot make any sense out of the lyrics whatsoever.  Is there a euphemism I'm missing?  Apparently, though, I am not alone.  (Also?  video totally reminds me of the "sorta fairytale" video by Tori Amos.)
2) I seem to be on another purple kick.  This happened last fall, and I find it odd.  I am currently knitting a purple sweater, sewing purple patchwork squares, and I bought a purple scarf.  
3)  When I'm not listening to "9 Crimes", I'm listening to "Twilight" by The Weepies.  In this case, I love the lyrics.  It's kind of a sad song, actually - "no one knocks upon your door / 'til you don' t care anymore / a little alone but it's all right / we are always living in twilight" - but it has the perverse result of cheering me up.  
4) I was feeling really  ordinary the other day, and what do you know, there's actually a Wiki-how page on "how to be extraordinary".  Of course there is.  And if it were only that simple.
5) I cannot believe tomorrow is October.  Where did it all go?  I'm not ready for winter.  I'm not ready for the inevitable cranky mornings when I have to get up early and spend who-knows-how-long cleaning the ice and snow off the car.  I AM looking forward to baking bread again - for me, this is a winter sport.
6)  Two years ago I was getting ready to move to NYC.  In retrospect, I cannot believe I did it.  I'm still not sure if it was the best thing I ever did or if it was sheer lunacy.  I trend towards the latter.
7)  Speaking of sheer lunacy, the cat continues his evil ways.  Tonight he calmed down for a few minutes and, all innocent-like, cat-napped in a basket of fabric.  It's like he instinctively KNOWS to be exactly where I don't want him to be.  (But isn't he cute?!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Miss Cranky Pants and Her Needles

I had one of those weekends where no matter what I tried to do, I wound up annoyed...I was inordinately cranky to begin with, and then people kept getting In My Way.  For example, I went to recycle my bottles and there was a woman with two shopping carts full of bottles in front of me, and half the machines weren't working.  Every time I tried to get into a parking space some idiot swung in and grabbed it, or parked in front of it, or otherwise made it impossible for me to park.  I went to get milk and there were two people having an argument in front of the milk case and they would not move.  Minor crappy stuff, really, but it set me in a right foul mood. 

Eventually it became apparent that the safest thing for me and the rest of humanity was for me to hide in my apartment.  So, in between futile attempts to run errands and half-hearted attempts to clean my apartment, I was knitting and watching Project Runway (which, by the way, really needs to find a way to incorporate more knitwear).  I finished my basic  hat out of my leftover Noro - it's a squeege small for a cold winter, but will be fine for late fall:

Despite the fact that I used the same yarn, this hat does not look like it belongs with the mittens.  Neither the hat or mittens look like they belong with the scarf I made last year.  *sigh*  Oh well.

I also started a new "train knitting project":  a scarf out of Malabrigo in a really great brown and blue colorway (called "Charrua").  I got the pattern, which is a "mock cable", from Halcyon Yarn a couple of years ago, but never actually knit it.  I must say, after knitting so many pairs of socks with tiny needles and skinny yarn, it's shocking to see how quickly chunky yarn on size 9 needles knits up!

Finally, late this afternoon I hauled out an ancient project I started almost a year ago - the Cosima sweater designed by Norah Gaughan.  It's been sitting behind the couch now for quite some time, but the other day the Yarn Harlot mentioned the pattern on her blog...and I got that guilt-ridden feeling I get when I remember abandoned projects.  I pulled out the bag of purple yarn (Berroco Cuzco in the oddly-named "Troll"), and was shocked to see I actually had about 3/4 of the back knit.  It took me awhile to figure out where I had left off, made more difficult because the printed pattern I bought was wrong, and I had to decipher the corrections I had written down from the internet.  I think I'm back on track now, though this is my first attempt at a "grown up" sweater and I'm keeping expectations quite low.  Eventually there will be photos of this project, but not quite yet!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The weather is growing colder – it’s not quiiiite scarf weather yet, but in another few weeks it will be cold enough in the mornings for me to want mittens while I wait for my train.  I seem to have lost my purple mittens from last year, which I would be sad about if they had been in better shape; they fuzzed and pilled and just got that “matted Muppet fur” kind of look about them.  It was definitely time to knit a new pair, and for some reason Saturday night I was on a tear:  I had to knit mittens IMMEDIATELY.  None of my other thirty bazillion half-finished projects would do.  It was MITTEN TIME. 

Of course, all the yarn stores were closed at this point.  I had to make do with what I had on hand which, despite my frugal Yankee genetics, is not something I like to do.  I also don’t have a large stash of yarn, and most of what I do have is sock yarn which, I’m guessing, would not make great mittens.  But there in a cubby hole were two skeins of Noro Silk Garden, and I wondered….

Last winter I knit one of those striped Noro scarves that were all over the web.  I didn’t wear it much, though, because it didn’t match any of my other outerwear.  I was also sick of the thing by the time I finished, and was in a right funk about the yarn itself – it was full of sticks and grass and other odd things, and it made me grumpy to have to stop and pick stuff out. I was pleasantly surprised, though, to see how the yarn kind of…bloomed?  after knitting…it kind of pouffed up a little and got nice and squishy.  And I liked the color variations, and how it was a surprise as to what would come next on the skein. 

I figured well, what the heck, it’s worth a try…and cast on for some plain-jane mittens.  On the plus side?  This skein had a lot less crap in it, which made me very happy.  I like the way the yarn knit up – dense, but still soft.  This yarn is 45% silk / 45% mohair / 10% wool, so I am a little worried about how they will survive a Boston winter.  They seem warm (although it was 70 degrees out today, not optimal mitten-testing weather).

On the downside?

I don’t know if it’s possible to get two perfectly matched mittens out of Noro.  Certainly not out of one skein, anyway.  I had to unravel the second skein quite a bit to find a close proximity to the color I started the first mitten with, and then the second skein had much more tan in it, where the first skein went to teal before turning gray/brown.  The dye lots on the band balls match, though…not sure if this was a mistake at the store (one band was taped together, as if it had fallen off), or if that’s just the way things are with Noro.  I’m sorely tempted to make another pair just to see; however…

…first I think I need a hat.

PS:  the mittens actually are the same size; the angle at which I took this photo makes one look a tad smaller.  I was trying to avoid stepping on the cat!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Thursday

1)  Yesterday I found out that Sasha Frere-Jones is male.  This rocked my world and I felt like an idiot; however, if the New Yorker's Facebook page is to be believed, I am not alone.
2) My guitar teacher -- rather optimistically -- gave me the chords to to the song "Unwell" by Matchbox 20 to learn.  The only chord I can manage is the one that accompanies the line "I'm not crazy" last night I spent a good 20 minutes strumming and singing that one line.  It amused me.  I hope the neighbors did not hear, as they would probably NOT be amused.
3) For someone who really doesn't watch that much TV, I seem to be OD'ing on NCIS reruns lately.  I am not sure what this is about.  I think there is a part of me that secretly wants to be the Abby character, even though it's been decades since I could pull off the whole pigtails look.  
4) This weekend my college roommate came to visit me, and we took her 4-year old to the aquarium...where I am fairly certain we witnessed the mating of two sea horses.  I have not quite dared to Google this, though, because I am afraid of what might turn up.  Also?  Sea horses have always given me the heebee-jeebies, in much the same way as those little baby ears of corn that come in Chinese food.  I can't explain it.
5) What was the 4-year old's favorite thing about the aquarium?  The Spiderman balloon she got afterwards at Quincy Market.  The sea dragons received honorable mention.  
6) And finally...the cat has lost his mind, I tell you.  I don't know if it's the change in the weather or what, but my apartment is now apparently his personal training ground for the Kentucky Derby of cats, as he races around and around in a (sort of) circle chasing nothing -- at least, nothing that is visible to the human eye.  And woe to my ankles if I happen to walk in the middle of this race course, because he is not above attacking me.  Tonight I came home to find my yoga mat askew, and it didn't take me long to discover why:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Empty This Week

All projects in various stages of incomplete-ness...and I am struggling to 4-year old proof my apartment before my friend and her daughter visit for the long I leave you to enjoy a photo of the lovely waterfall on the Wayside Inn property, which we visited a few weeks ago: