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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cast on, Cast off

Okay, so it's really more like cast off, cast on, but that didn't sound as "Karate Kid".

I cast off two projects this week, and I've got two on the needles.

First I finished the sweater for my sister. It was a really a fast knit. I didn't use a pattern, I just figured my gauge, and knit it to my own body. It came out so cute that I have to knit one for myself

Next it was my very own mohair and cotton sweater. I got the design idea from a cotton sweater with a net top and sleeves I saw in a store once. I liked the idea of using mohair for the top for a contrast of textures. I owe some of the design features to a few knitty.com designers. The basic stitch pattern from the mohair comes from the Spring Fling. The shaping I used on the sides came from the Honeymoon cami.

I've always wanted to do a sweater with a ruffle sleeve, and after much trial and error, I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

On the needles is the ENDLESS k1, p1 rib that is Tempting II. It's my at work project. Something I can mindlessly knit during understudy rehearsal.

My at home project is to use up all the cotton yarn that my mother in law gave me. I can get a few projects out of it, but the first one I chose was a boat necked cable sweater.

I'm changing the pattern a bit to add shaping on the side. The picture looks like there's shaping, but the pattern doesn't have any. Here's it on the needles

David came to visit from Brooklyn and brough a bit of our garden. In the form of pictures:

He also brought me lettuce from our garden. It was delicious. It makes me miss Brooklyn more then ever.

I also miss going to all my yarn shops in New York. I'm coming home for a few days in July, maybe I'll go on a yarn crawl.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Peanuts, (knit one, purl two) and Cracker Jacks

Okay all you knitters out there . . . where do you knit? Do you take your knitting on the subway, to the movies, to the beach, to the ballgame. Let me know I'm not alone. On Monday we had a little Jersey Boys field trip to the ballgame. Of course I took my knitting.

It was a perfect day for a ballgame. We started our day at Larry's house (the PSM). It was truly our glimpse at how the other half lives.

Wow, what a place. He's staying at a friend's place in South Beach. The coolest bachelor pad ever!!

They set up a dreamy spread of hotdogs (turkey dogs for me), potato salad, chips,

and of course . . . Peanuts and Cracker Jack:

Of course no Martha Stewart like baseball buffet would be complete without the traditional jockstrap flower arrangement (in the team's colors of course)

There was also a bitchin cool deck. We immediately started lounging in the sun.

The boys talking boy talk. The fabulous Jenny Lee Ramos catching some rays.

John "Smitty" Smith (our musical director, and Rashad Naylor hangin'.

Jeremy Kushnier, Eddie Driscoll, Jerrod Spector

After stuffing our faces with hotdogs and filling our pockets with peanuts and cracker jacks it was time to go to the ballpark

I'll never get used to a ballpark with palm trees out front and the ocean out back. Truly weird. When a homerun is hit it goes into the water and men in kayaks wait to scoop up the ball - not kidding

By the third or forth inning it was time for me to crack out the knitting. I'm working on Tempting II, and it's an ENDLESS amount of k1, p1 rib. Of course the cries of "I can't believe you brought your knitting to the ballgame", "look she's knitting", "I gotta get a picture of this" began.

That's Lauren looking at me like I have two heads, just because I wanna get a few rows in before the 7th inning stretch. Doesn't everyone???

The park itself was a bit like an amusement park. There were tons of bars and restaurants everywhere. I'm talking full bars too. I had an Irish coffee from a stand. Weird. There were batting cages, games, a giant slide (which I of course rode.) Here's me showing I'm tall enough to ride slide:

When I got home I finished the sweater for my sister. I'll post more pics of it (modeling it) in the next post. Here it is blocking.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Coma Monday

I slept until 11:30 am today. I'm still not quite over this week. Earlier this week I flew back to Chicago to be with my family. We all were together to see my Grandpa. It was so great that we were all together before he died. I was originally going to go today, but my sister said it would be good if I came sooner. I'm SOOO glad she said that, otherwise it would have been to late. If I can make it 99 years and then simply fall asleep while my loved ones sit at my bedside I'll be pretty damn lucky.

The last five days at work have seemed like they lasted a year. It's too tedious to go into, but it involves lots of rehearsal, crashed scenery, stopped show, actor in car accident, working my ass off, and feeling generally wildly under appreciated. This week may have been just the kick in the head I needed to get on with my life and make some major changes. My favorite yarn store in New York is hiring again. I think this fall a job at a yarn store may be just what I want to do for a while. A simpler life surrounded by fiber all day. Time to work on my designs, time to think about what to do next. Not the worst idea in the world.

I've be missing some of my old pals with the first Jersey Boys tour. My friend Michelle sent me these pics from their tech in New Haven.

Here's Michelle and the fabulous Miles Aubrey

and my favorite picture. The real power behind Jersey Boys:

I have gotten a lot of knitting done this week. The good thing about two 5 hour plane rides. I finished the last sleeve on the mohair sweater. That means it's down to the never ending procrastination of finishing. God I hate sewing. On the plane ride home I cast on for Tempting II. It's my first time working with Rowan Calmer. I LOVE this yarn. If you can find it for a good price on ebay, scoop it up.

When I was with my sister on Monday she said that she ruined her favorite cardigan. I said I could whip her one up in a week. I'm making her a little 3/4 sleeve grey blue cardigan. It's in the yummy Rowan Polar (one of my all time faves). I cast it on Tuesday night. Here it is on Wednesday morning:

Here is is by Thursday night:

I'll be able to finish it up in about an hour. I'm hoping to finish seaming up the sleeves of the cotton/mohair today too. I'll post more pics in a few days.

When I was at my Mom's house she let me take whatever I wanted from her 30 year button stash. I found some great stuff.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Two Monday's could not be more different

Last Monday I was sitting by the water enjoying a relaxing day knitting and feeling fine. A week later, I'm 2000 miles away, I'm sick as a dog, and sitting by my 99 year old grandpa's bedside, feeling like crap. What a week. I just got home and I've never been so tired in my life.

The week started out pretty nice. On Monday I went to the Embarcadaro to sit by the water, stroll around the shops, poke around the book stores, and sit, and sit and sit and knit. It was heavenly.

In the front there are lawns and tons of places to sit. On the inside are rows and rows of little shops. It reminded me a bit if the holiday craft market at Grand Central (or maybe I was just homesick).

Out the back door was the water. Plenty of benches to plop down, veg out, and knit.

From there I hoped on the MUNI to the Bliss Bar to meet up with Chicks with Sticks. It was so nice to see everyone again. I finished my first sleeve of my cotton mohair sweater.

It was a good thing I had one relaxing day. Tuesday at noon began our 8 show, 4 rehearsal week. That means being in the theatre noon - 10:30 pm everyday that week. At some point a sour throat turned to a cough turned to a lost voice. I felt like crap most of the week.

Saturday my mom let me know that my grandpa was not doing so well. I spent my dinner break between rehearsal and the show on Saturday looking into flights. I found a decent flight on United, took a bereavement day from work and left for the airport at 8:30 am on Sunday. My brother picked me up at the airport and we got back to my mom's house around 6:00 pm. It was a LONG travel day, but it was worth it. My sister drove in from Michigan that morning, and we were all together by dinner. We ordered take out and drove my brother back to his house and all had dinner over there. The next day we spent a lot of time with Grandpa. All things considered it was great to see him and be able to talk to him and have all his grand kids together.

It was an exhausting couple of days, and coughing all night long and not sleeping didn't help much. On the upside, two six hour plane rides let me finish the cotton mohair sweater. Here it is blocking back in San Francisco.

I also plyed up another spindle full of yarn that I had spun before I left. Here's another niddy noddy full.

Now it's time to sleep and wake to face another week of 10 hours of theatre rehearsal, 8 hours of studio rehearsals, and 5 shows for me. It will feel like a long time before I hit a day off.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Oh What a week!

My last week was INSANE!!! The second company of Jersey Boys is up and running in San Francisco. It all happened in one crazy week.

Our travel day was Sunday. Monday we arrived at the theatre at 8:00 am to load in the SM hampers to our temporary office space in the basement of a store next to the theatre. Since the first national tour was still performing until Thursday, we had a temporary Stage Manager office, Company Manager office and wardrobe set up. The first cast cleared all there personal stuff out of the dressing room to clear for the second cast to share the dressing rooms. The second cast arrived to start tech at 10:00 am. The first two days we worked without costumes. I tried to drill into the casts head (as I did all during NY rehearsals) where their costume changes would be. I knew when we got into costumes on Wednesday we would try to go without stopping. Wednesday we go through all of Act II in costume and then started from the top of Act I. Thursday we picked up where we left off in costume. Thursday night was the first company's last show and then they loaded out. . .

Then came Friday. A day that felt like a week. I arrived at the theatre at 7:45 am to start moving out of our temporary office into our real office. Wardrobe and hair arrived at 7:30 am to start moving into their real rooms. At 10:00 am (with boxes still EVERYWHERE) the cast arrived to get into costume for the top of Act II. We had a run through of Act II with our alternate Frankie. Then the cast had a lunch break, while the crew and I continued to unpack. After lunch the cast got into costume for a final dress rehearsal. After dinner break (with more unpacking) it was time for our first performance. All things considered, it went pretty great. After the show the producers through a party for both the tour cast and the new San Fran/Chicago cast. A goodbye/hello party. It was really fun.

To sum up . . . from 7:45 am to midnight we loaded in the show, ran Act II, had a dress rehearsal, first performance, and opening night party all in one night. When I think of my pal Francesca on the Spamalot tour and know that they do this kind of schedule every few weeks, I am in awe. Then came four more shows in two days. This included putting our Frankie alternate on for the first time on Saturday!

Allin all, in one week we arrived into a city, loaded in (twice!), teched, opened, had a party and put on the second Frankie. Today is our day off and it's 90 degrees here in San Fran. It's almost 1:00 pm and I'm still trying to get myself settled. I never really had time to unpack properly, so today I'm trying to get that done. Later I want to head to the Embarcadero to do a little knitting and hanging out in the sun. I think I'll go to Chicks with Sticks to hook up with my old San Fran knitting pals.

I'm back to working on the cotton mohair sweater. Here are the sleeves so far.

I decided to do a ruffle on the sleeve. It took a little trial and error before I figured out the stitch pattern, but I found this pattern worked:

CO 180 stitches using the cable cast on method
1 row (and every odd row) - K across
2nd row - K3, K2 tog
4th row - K2, K2 tog
6th row - K1, K2 tog
8th row - K2 tog all the way across.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane (part two)

I'm back in San Fran. I just finished my first day back in the theatre. It was sad to leave Brooklyn. I finished Melissa's sweaters in the nick of time. Here they are in small, medium and large. The large still has water marks on it from blocking:

She looked adorable in it! My first successful commission . . . even though I charged her basically $2.00 an hour. Live and learn!

My last day in Brooklyn was spent at the Wool Festival at the Brooklyn Zoo. It's mostly for kids, but of course when you say wool, the Park Slope Knitting group comes a running.

The day began with the animals, the founder of our fiber feast, the woolly animals that make our hearts go pitter patter.

There were the oh so fuzzy Costwolds just dying for a hair cut.

The sheep and goats were all good friends.

The always evil looking Jacob sheep:

Then it was time to step outside and enjoy the beautiful Alpacas.

Ooh so soft and yummy . . .

The kids really seemed to enjoy the animals . . . and they weren't looking at them as potential sweaters.

Next it was time for fun with roving. The nice folks at the Brooklyn General had set up a big ole table in the monkey house and filled it with roving and spindles. Our little knitting group descended upon the roving like a pack of hungry wolves (or appropriately enough, crazed monkeys). We started digging in and spinning away:

There was also a spinning wheel. Alexandra jumped right in to give it a whirl and then start teaching. Here's a little spinning video:

click to watch spinning

If you notice the last thing Alexandra says on the video is "you're next Patty". Unfortunately I never got a chance to jump on the wheel, because I got a call from my pal who was having a crappy time at work.

Yet I managed to do a little spinning while sympathetically listing to my pal.

Finally, the moment we'd all been waiting for. The sheering of the sheep.

"what the hell is happening"

Going . . .

Going . . .


The day ended up on the roof enjoying the last of the sunshine in our garden before it was time to go.

Goodbye Brooklyn. . .

Until we meet again

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