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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In mourning for Rhinebeck

Well, I'm still trying to get over missing Rhinebeck last weekend. It was my niece's bat mitzvah, and our family reunion.

It was a crazy deja vu experience going to a bat mitzvah. Watching 13 year olds trying not to look like they care about dancing with eachother. The most bizarre thing was the music they played. Sure there was some modern stuff, but most of it was the same music I danced to nearly 30 years ago! That would be like me dancing to the Andrew Sisters at the bat mitzvahs of the 70’s! Here’s the kids doing (I kid you not) the Electric Slide!

I did get a little knitting done on the plane, and gave away a few knitted gifts. Here's my adorable niece Rachel with her new scarf. About three minutes after this photo was taken, it was dipped in ice cream and then dropped on the floor (the scarf, not the photo).

The big hit was the baby sweater and hat set for my cousin's daughter Leah. It was my first baby sweater and I was pretty happy with it.

Right now I'm up to my ass in Jersey Boys. We started rehearsals on Monday and it's a big show. It looks like a small show until you look a little closer, and then holy ^&*@#$ there's a lot of props, costumes, shifts, a lotta everything.

Tonight I'm taking my last night to light a fire, blog, and do a little spinning on my (trumpet sound here) new Golding Ring Spindle . . . YEAH. My pal Francesca bought it for me at Rhinebeck. Isn't she a beaut!

So after tonight it will be all musical theatre all the time (until we open). One of the women in the cast is a knitter! At least there will be one fellow yarn o'holic on the road with me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Life - knitting interruptous

It's begun, or ended. Those lazy days of summer knitting are over. I've been crazy busy lately, and it's just going to get worse. Last week I spent a whole day at Jersey Boys starting to learn the show as best I can before we go into rehearsal on Monday. I watched it from out front during the matinee, and then from the calling desk in the evening (that's a busy call!). We went to the Berkshires for the weekend (more about what happened on that weekend in a later post - I'll explain later). The colors were just a bit past peak, but still GORGEOUS! Here's a few pics from the trip.
(Lenox, MA)

(Pleasant Valley Wildlife Preserve)

We stayed in a great B & B called the Rookwood. Really pretty, great breakfast. We had a fab room with a woodburing fireplace and a little porch.

(our cute little porch)

On our way back to the city we stopped to do a little hike in a park called Bash Bish Falls. . . FAB!

On the knitting front, it's been slow going. Last week I ran out of yarn on the Red Scarf Project scarf. I went to Smileys, where I was pretty sure I got the yarn from, but I couldn't find a match. UGGGGG! It's my first cable scarf, so I had no idea how much damn yarn it takes. I bought more yarn, and started again. I cast off my tiny 48" scarf for David (you can still wear it around your neck, just can't really wrap it all the way around).

and then cast on again:

As for the Spring Fling, I've made some headway on that. Much knitting done in the car, not much anywhere else.
The pattern has you casting off the back, and the two front sections, and then sewing them together. Screw that! Three needle bind off is the name of the game baby!

Today is my last day to get things done (like blog). I have tons of fall work in the garden today, dig up and divide the Iris' plant the Poppies, new Iris bulbs, cut down the Lillies, dig up the Petunias, and put in the Crocus bulbs. All this fall work, and I won't even be here in the spring to enjoy it. I'm going to be dependant on David to send me photos. What a drag.

tomorrow I head off to my family reunion and pass out the many knit gifts I've made. . . scarf for Colin, scarf for Rachel, and baby set for Mike's little girl.

More later.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Family visit and yarn from the Carter administration!

David and I spent the holiday weekend in Boston visiting his family. Since I'm heading off on the national tour, and I'll be gone god knows how long . . . we thought we should get a visit in. We didn't get in until Midnight on Friday and we crashed with our pal David. Saturday we hung out with David's folks. David's mom is a big knitter. She makes blankets for foster kids from squares knit up (or crocheted, I'm not sure which) by lots of folks. Because of this, people are constantly giving her yarn. At a certain point she just gets full up and that's where I come in. In the past I've scored with full cones of mohair, wool, balls of novelty yarn, trim, you name it. People have also started dropping off their unfinished projects to her. You can't believe how far people get in their sweaters before bailing. She usually finishes the sweaters and returns then to their owner. I keep telling her she could go into business. This time someone dropped off a sweater and said she didn't want it back. This thing was almost finished, except for one problem . . . it was hideous. It was red and white stripes on the bottom, then the body was white with anchors in red yarn. It had big 80s poofy sleeves, and was completely unwearable. We made the only sane decision . . . FROG.

Here's the stash:

I now have six skeins of Reynolds Saucy 100% Mercerized cotton in white & 3 in red. What do I do with it. Does anyone have any pattern ideas for cotton yarn? I'm desperate for ideas. Lemme know.

Amongst the other random bits were some Sheltand Wool in green and tan, some ribbon yarn

There was also a blue cone of novelty yarn that, according to the price sticker, was purchased in 1979!!

I'm open to any ideas for what to do with this stuff.

Sunday night we went Candlepin Bowling. What the heck is that you may be wondering? If you're not from Massachusetts, Maine, Ohio, New Hampshire, or parts of Canada (and I'm not) you've probably never seen anything this weird. The pins are little skinny pins. They don't get fat at the bottom like normal bowling pins. The balls are small wooden balls with no holes. You just hold it in the palm of your hand and roll it as fast as you can. You get three balls, and the pins you knock down, or "dead wood", does not get cleared away between balls. Part of the strategy is hitting the pins that are already knocked down so that they'll knock other pins down. It is possible to get a gutter ball, yet have the ball hit a pin in the gutter and knock others pins down. It was crazy, but the bar served a bitchin' apple cider martini, with cinnamon and sugar, so I didn't really care how badly I sucked.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The tao of spinning (and other life lessons)

I've been feeling rather reflective the last few days. Maybe it's the season, maybe it's getting ready to go back to work. These wonderful days of relaxing in our garden, knitting, spinning, enjoying Brooklyn are all about to come to an end. I spent the day in the garden on Wednesday. It was time to start the fall garden chores. Between early October and late November we have to dig up various bulbs and tubers to store for the winter, divide and replant others, spray the roses, and fruit tree . . . put our garden to sleep for the winter, and hope it wakes up in the spring. It's always a bit of an exercise in faith. You do the best you can, but ultimately it's always a crap shoot. There's no way to tell what spring will bring.


(Huge clump of Peony root, to be divided and replanted)

Just like life, you do the best you can to investigate your choices, weigh your options and then make your decision. Once you do, it's an exercise in faith. I'm about to leave my home with the Jersey Boys tour and I don't know how long I'll be gone. I think it's a good decision, but I'll know when I know.

That evening I went over to Alexandra's house to do a little spinning. I had a blast. She started pulling out bag after bag of wool, alpaca, whole fleeces, top, roving. I was literally surrounded by fiber. She had a huge basket of yarn, some store bought, some she had spun herself, some so soft you wanted to roll around in it. Then she cracked out the Babe. A crazy wheel made from PVC pipe and a wheelchair wheel. It looks like ass, but it spins great! I had my sad little CD spindle and was once again trying my hand at spinning. Alexandra took out a huge ball of top roving and told me to pull off a section. I was pulling like crazy and it would not break. She said I was pulling too hard. That if I loosened my grip and tugged gently, the fibers would slide apart and the piece would give. That's why I was having trouble with my drafting. I was pulling too hard, and the fibers wouldn't give.

So I'm off to a new job, in a new city. I have know idea what to expect or where my life is heading next.

Maybe I'll try loosening my grip and see what gives.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fasting and finished objects (or the Shul of knitting)

Yesterday was Yom Kippur. Although I did fast, I decided this year to skip Shul in favor of knitting. Brenda Dayne often talks about the church of knitting (for nice Jewish girl, Brooklyn Knit Chick, it is the Shul of Knitting). I decided it be nice to spend the entire day working on a something for someone else. Late last night (long after both sundown and fasting had passed) I cast off and blocked the scarf for my brother in law Colin. Here it is posing in my garden. It wasn't an easy fast this year, and I got pretty woozy by late afternoon, so a simple scarf pattern was all I could manage.

I decided a good way to make a contribution to the world (in my own little crafty way) was to get more involved with charity knitting. If anyone has their favorite pet project, I'd love to hear about it.

I cast on today for the Red Scarf Project. I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking so far. I'm going with a machine washable wool/acrylic blend. I figured machine washable would be important if it fell into the hands of a sloppy college age boy!

All this knitting for others has made my Spring Fling sweater slow down to a crawl. Here's all the progress I managed to make in that:

Today I was sitting up on the roof deck, enjoying the freaky 78 degree day, listening to old Cast On episodes. We all know about charity knitting, but did you know about protest knitting? Neither did I. There's a web site called Steal This Sweater (that name will not be lost on Abbie Hoffman fans). On the site are all sorts of machine knit sweaters with various political statements on them. There are also the Body Count mittens.

Here's the text from the web site:

The Body Count Mittens

These mittens memorialize the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq at the time the mittens are made. Since the numbers escalate daily, each mitten has a different number and date. Seen together, the pair of mittens show a span of time and the increase in killed soldiers over that time. I began these mittens on March 23, 2005, when 1524 American soldiers had been killed in Iraq. After finishing the first mitten, I began work on the second mitten one week later, on March 31, 2005. The number of American troops killed in Iraq had risen to 1533 by then. This was a great project to knit in public, and I look forward to wearing them somewhere cold soon.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Nuff said

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Thanks to all the free designers . . .

I got an e-mail from the very talented Marnie MacLean to find out what the problem was in the Evening Tank (that I had wrote about in "Summer Knitting had me a blast"). I must say I felt overcome with guilt for complaining about something offered out of the kindness and generosity that is so, wonderfully, present in the knitting community. I e-mailed her the math problems I found, but also the following:

. . . and, my apologies for not searching the internet for your e-mail address. I realize now that was a somewhat ungrateful and rude thing. I posted an apology on my blog comments as well. When I thought about the selflessness of people who post patterns for free (that I use all the time) I was somewhat ashamed when I re-read my post and saw how ungrateful it sounded. thank you for your work, and for sharing it with others.

So here's a big shout out to all those kind and talented folks who offer up their designs and ask for nothing in return. If you find a mistake, instead of bitching about it in your blog (as I did), seek out the designer's e-mail and respectfully submit your corrections.

I did poke around Marnie's blog and found some great spinning tips! More about that later.

In the world of knitting . . . I finished my niece's scarf. We'll see how long she holds onto this one:

The last one I made for her, out of various bits of scrap yarn, she promptly lost. Ah well.

Here's my brother-in-law's scarf. It's coming along nicely. The greens are flecked with all sorts of pretty reds, yellows, purples, and oranges. None of which he'll see. He's color blind. That pretty much sucks.