Wednesday, November 5, 2008

MLK Said It Best

Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.

- Martin Luther King Jr.,
Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Dec. 11, 1964.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

UPDATE: WE DID IT!!!!

Making history and pointing to Hope:



And I got this cool button, which is currently residing on my bag:



More as the day rolls and polls on....

Monday, November 3, 2008

On Election Eve

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

~Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence, Congress 1776

On Election Eve, what do these founding words mean to you? History is happening.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloweenies Everyone!

I went buck-wild last night with my pumpkins. My mom and I went to Van Cortlandt Manor in Sleepy Hollow, NY for "The Great Jack o' Lantern Blaze" of 2008.



The month long event features over 6,000 carved pumpkins all over the grounds of the manor. Trust me when I say it's the coolest thing ever. It exceeds the wildest imagination. Adults and kids alike are entertained by this whimsical Halloween fantasy land.

Needless to say, after coming home from the event I was inspired to carve a few pumpkins of my own for Halloween night. I thought of what means to most to me at the moment and conveyed my thoughts through my pumpkins. What a hit they were with the neighborhood! The one on the left has the Obama horizion symbol and says, "Obama," and "Vote" on the sides. And the one on the right say, "Obama '08," and "Yes We Can!" underneath.







As long as they inspire thought and conversation is what I was aiming for and it succeeded. I got so many "Right on" and "Those are so amazing!" I felt my mission was accomplished. It might have also helped that I dressed up as a gypsy and blasted Bob Dylan out my window :) The sign on the door behind me says, " Gypsies for Obama '08."



Oh, and one more thing. Last night at the blaze I saw this little gem and laughed quite heartily. And yes, it says Joe the Pumpkin.



Remember to VOTE November 4th! My pumpkins will be ablaze in support until after the election!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Roaming in Thought

Roaming in thought over the Universe, I saw the little that is
Good steadily hastening towards immortality.
And the vast all that is call'd Evil I saw hastening to merge
itself and become lost and dead.

~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Times They Are A-Changin'





Anyone who knows me, knows my great music loves are Bob Dylan and James Taylor. James singin' Bob for Obama makes me feel more joy than I can express. I feel very proud to be an American at this time in our history.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This needs to win all awards...



Just give Tina Fey all the Emmy's everywhere. Seriously. And possibly the Nobel Peace Prize as well.
Not only has she made me piss my pants laughing every week since Puppet Head came into the McCain campaign, but she has highlighted weekly just how transparent and dangerous Sarah Palin is.
But sweariously, I am a worried if McRage and Puppet Head get to the White House full out global warfare will result in retaliation to America's imbecility. Even Canada, our piney-fresh friends to the north. I really can't blame the rest of the world after eight years of being Bushwhacked. A country that could be so easily duped into voting for "McRage" and Puppet Head after Bush deserves to be revoked of its sovereignty. A majority of imbecile's cannot be trusted to lead a global superpower, as we have learned over the past eight years. So vote smart people, so we don't get spanked with hockey sticks by the Canadians.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Koolhaas and Faux Bois...

...is a fancy way of saying I made a hat and a scarf.

I am smitten with this hat. It's lovely, it's tweedy, it's soft, warm, complementary and currently in the mail on it's way to my sister's waiting head. A little pre-Christmas present if you will. I finished this little hat so quickly the thought of it waiting two whole months to be worn was unbearable, especially since it's particularly cold up in the Berkshire's right now. The color will look beautiful on her. I will have to get her to send me a photo of her wearing it, but for now my head will have to do as a model.



Pattern: Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood [brooklyntweed]
Yarn: Classic Elite Portland Tweed in Best Teal
Needles: Addi Turbo US 6 16" for ribbing; Plymouth Bamboo dpns US 8 for body
Mods: None!

I love Jared Flood-I think he is my knitting soulmate. His tweedy, rustic designs inspire me to tweed out all year round. I am still pondering whether to modify the Cobblestone Pullover to a Cobbleletta Pullover to accommodate curves. Now only to choose the right tweed to go with it? The Portland Tweed is certainly in the running.

Now onto another knitter who knows the pleasure of a rustic knit. Adrian Bizilia, the genius behind Hello Yarn has come up with another gorgeous pattern for me to knit and love. Available through the Twist Collective's Premiere Issue, Faux Bois lives up to its name.





My little log scarf is so cute, and most importantly, my first successfully steeked piece. Yes, I cut it. Yes, I was nervous. So far there has been no unraveling.



I attached the I-cord edging before I cut the steek to re-enforce it just in case there was unraveling. Then I steamed it flat--with trepidation. Still, no unraveling. I took a chance cutting this yarn without sewing it first because it's only 30% wool, but I guess it was just enough for it to cling together.



I am very happy with the results so far. I have to find a nice bit of silk for the lining and then for the worst part...sewing :( But I will do it! This scarf deserves to be worn! Now go make one for yourself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shopping Sprees and Sexism

As each day passes and the "most historic election in history" draws closer, I become more and more disgusted by the media. This morning I looked at The Huffington Post and saw splashed in big red letters, "$150,000 Shopping Spree!: Palin Clothes Spending has Dems Salivating, Republicans Disgusted".
I know it's my idealism rearing it's beauteous head again, but I simply cannot believe that this is the shit the media harps on. It reduces the presidential campaign to the entertainment value of The Hills. I am waiting for Joan Rivers to pop up next to Sarah Palin and ask her "who's she's wearing?" at the next rally she heads.
If we are going to rip Sarah Palin a new asshole, let's do it the right way. Nail her about her complete incompetence in politics, her inadequate experience and shoddy education, her "real america" comments, her irresponsible parenting, or allowing herself (and her family) to be used as a puppet by the good ol' boys of the GOP all while still claiming to be a "feminist". Please girl, playing to be one of the boys while still being a sexy minx is not being a feminist. It's playing into every man's Laura Croft, wet dream fantasy. I can hear it now, "She's one kick-ass, sexy bitch!" Right? She should just field dress a moose in a white tee shirt in the rain and get it over with.
This brings me back to my original issue--the "shopping spree". I know why the media harped on this one--it's easy to criticize a woman for her appearance and habits connecting to her appearance. It's what society has done to women throughout history. The most recent casualty of this rampant and socially acceptable sexism was Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately for her she was on the other-side of this sexist coin--she was the mannish looking, shrewish woman. In reality, she is an intelligent, wise, independent-minded, strong-willed, confident woman. But naturally, these characteristics that are celebrated in men are rejected in women. Maybe if she wore cute skirt suits and stiletto's while debating about foreign affairs with a folksy accent she would be the presidential nominee too?
But seriously, why listen to me? These two say it so much better.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn Eye Candy

I went for a ride this weekend. I stopped at Jones Farm where I got hot apple cider and a cookie and sat outside. I give you autumn in New York, and some newly finished socks.
















Monday, October 6, 2008

Harvest, after the gold rush.



I am a huge Neil Young fan. So when autumn rolls around I tend to listen to him ad nauseam. The obvious first pick is Harvest, but digging through my dad's old records I pulled out Comes A Time. I blew off the dusty record player and started listening. I don't know why this isn't one of his most popular albums because it's friggin' amazing.
I know I haven' posted in awhile but that doesn't mean I haven't been making any progress. I will live up to the title of this post. I bring you my most loveliest sock I have ever made. This is the first time I have been happy about having to knit a mate to sock #1. I call her Autumn Harvest Sock [ravlink]:



I am much further along on this now. I am almost at the toe! The pattern is called Chuck's Cabled Socks by the fabulous Eunny Jang. I am using Pigeonroof Studios CIRCE sock yarn in the Harvest colorway and Louet Gems Navy. I emailed fabulous Krista to request it after drooling over someone else's Harvest socks. Many people have had trouble making these and I can see why. If you don't make the floats behind the cable and purl sections loose you will create a tourniquet instead of a sock. I deliberately went up to a 3.00mm needle to help with tension issues. I have never made a Eunny pattern with the size needle recommended.

Now onto the gold rush....:)

I finished Wisteria, but I haven't gotten a good full picture yet of me modeling it, but soon. Until then I have this lovely flat picture...



....and a close up of the finished yoke :)



After I finished Wisteria I was still on a sweater high. Luckily some beautiful Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL came into my life at just the right moment. I immediately cast-on Francis and before I knew it she was finished.




This is the fastest, easiest most rewarding sweater I have ever made. I can't stop wearing her. I highly recommend this pattern!
Pattern: Francis Revisted by Beth Silverstein
Yarn: 12 skeins Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL, colorway Pinewood
Needles: Size 10 32" Susan Bates; Size 10 Inox dpns; Size 7 24" Susan Bates
Mods: Arm decreases in place of bell sleeve, and more increases after waist.

I have many many projects on the needles. I must have been sleep knitting again because one day I looked around and had so many little projects started. I think I have been craving the fall because they mostly seem to be mittens.

Meet Apple-y Mitered Mittens in Malabrigo Worsted China Apple...



and Druid Mittens in Rowan Scottish Tweed 4-ply...



and finally Faux Bois Scarf in Punta del Este Lava Space-dyed. My first official project involving steeking...my hands are already shaking.



I am glad I have so many projects that inspire me cause Christmas is just around the corner. I doubt any of these things will ever be worn by me!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Late Summer Means Sunflowers


I love the colors of late summer and autumn. Everything is hot and tired looking from being out in the hot sun all summer, and in response the summers last gasp blooms colors burnt and rich. My favorite of all these is the sunflower: August's flower. Everywhere I go there are fields of sunflowers blooming, and reminds me how no matter how worn and tired I can become, something beautiful is still possible. Perhaps even the most beautiful thing of all?

The feeling that late summer has brought on me has trickled into my knitting, especially with the help of Twist Collective's new fall edition.




I have started making Wisteria [ravelry], a beautiful, autumnal looking pattern by Kate Gilbert. What can I say about it besides I LOVE IT! I have never had a sweater look so beautiful before at such an early stage. I could not have chosen a better yarn to make this sweater look and feel like a fall day: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Amber Heather. It glows in the sun with golden and green undertones, and the rusty color makes the palate created look like trees in Autumn.

More to come on this beauty shortly....but for now I will go outside to look at the sunflowers, follow their lead and bend towards the afternoon sunlight.

peace.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Humidity Daze, Bayou Blues, Earthy Socks and Perennial Flowers

As far as Summer goes, I have never been one for blistering heat and tropical humidity, but if you live in New York these are some of the things one must get accustomed to: climate crisis anyone? So today, Day Next, of unveiling some knitting projects I will try and embrace some of the wondrous things of summer that can tend to get lost in a humid daze. Therefore, I will create my own "Summer Love" Meme to encourage me to enjoy the summer despite the heat (and sweatiness).

1. The sound and feeling of a fan blowing on me during a hot night.
2. Listening to the New Orleans Blues station on iTunes radio, making me feel as if I was living in the French Quarter (if only Funroe was that fun). They play crackily, old records, which makes me very happy.
3. Fireflies
4. Giant, cool summer salads with grilled chicken, in substitute for cooking dinner ;) p.s. that is for my whole family, not just me. The olives are super delicious: Kalamata and Italian soaked in olive oil and garlic, YUM!



5. Swimming in the ocean, the smell of the ocean, the sound of the ocean, sand, seashells: anything beach or ocean related.
6. Clam Cakes and Chowder from Narragansett
7. Del's Lemonade Quite honestly, one of the best things about summer, life and Rhode Island. If you are there pull over at "the sign of the lemon." You won't be disappointed.
8. Long days of sunlight
9. Reading in my hammock
10. Ice water
11. Flowers and gardening--lush vegetation

New Perennial Flowers:



Top left to right: Black-eyed Susan's, little white rose bush, purple garden bloomer, black-eyed Susan's.
Bottom: Two lavender bushes (all purchased at BJ's for 29.95 total! cheaps)

Overgrown weeds:



Replacing Overgrown weeds with flowers within the next week. I need to buy a tanker full of Roundup.

12. Knitting, duh! Newly started socks with Zitron Trekking Pro Natura on US size 1 Crystal Palace Bamboo DPNS. [ravelry]



Nothing special about these guys. They are just straight up stocking-knit stitch socks knit over 64 sts, with, hopefully, a short-row heel. Not every project can be a glorious as Mothy.

So what are your favorite things about summer? Consider yourself tagged for "Summer Love" meme by meggo.

Tomorrow is my birthday, yay. I am very fortunate to share my birthday with J.K. Rowling and her literary hero, Harry Potter. I am not ashamed in the slightest that I LOVE the series. I really have to make something Gryffindor related soon. I was thinking these socks with the house of Gryffindor colors of maroon and gold? [ravelry] Pom-poms and all. I hope to get birthday money to buy more yarn, take some lovely pictures, and have a good time. Until next time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunshine Through Lace

Today is Day One of unveiling new finished and in progress project. The first in this series is "Secret Summer Lace" project. I made the "Wing o' the Moth" shawl by Anne Hansen of Knitspot, and my oh my is it lovely. It only took me 2 weeks to complete, which is super fast. This pattern was so intuitive and gorgeous that it just flew off my needles. Also, my mother's birthday is right around the corner and I wanted to finish it very quickly. And I did--14 days early!



I got a bit carried away with the pictures, but the sunlight and greenery through the window complimented it so well that my camera just kept snapping away.



The only problem I had was a yarn shortage. This pattern really does take 900 yards of lace. You will not get away with just 880yds, like my skein had. But everything turned out well. I omitted lines 11-14 of the Corona Chart C at the end and everything turned out perfectly. I am glad I made that choice early on because this is all the yarn I had left over:



Barely enough to finish another row! Let alone four extra rows!

And just for fun here is a pre-blocked lumpy picture of Mothy, measuring a mere 55x22, which blossomed to a full 86x36 post bath and block;)



Details:



Pattern: Wing o' the Moth by Anne Hansen [ravelry]
Yarn: Beyond Basic Rose Petal Lace [etsy shop]
Needles: US 5 32" Addi Lace; 1 US 8 Susan Bates for bind-off row
Mods: Because of yarn shortage, I cut out lines 11-14 of Corona Chart C, but it still looks super hot.

Tomorrow, hopefully pictures of Wing o' the Moth shawl on a human person! a.k.a. my sister ;) PHOTOSHOOT!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Homecomings and Summer Lace

I have been a real poop nugget lately about blogging, but I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately. Yet, I have been productive in my fiber adventures. So I have vowed to myself to slowly unveil some finished knitted things, and some not-so finished knitted things over the next week.

But firstly, my little sister arrived home from London last week after a six week internship abroad. The arrival of the Bobo was less than glamorous, but genuinely affectionate. Here are the pictures I got to snap before I got yelled at:

"Momma's face says it all :)"



"HAVE BEEN ON A PLANE FOR SEVEN HOURS!! WHY ARE YOU TAKING MY PICTURE!!??!!!"



Because I have to Becca, because I am your sister and love to love you and torture you at the same time ;) I cannot help it.

On to the fibery goodness. Something special is cooking with this lovely, rosy skein of lace weight yarn. My Mom's birthday is arriving shortly, on August 11. What could be better for a summer birthday than summer lace?



Summer Lace with a little Obama goodness in the background.

My secret project is almost complete...await the unveiling very shortly.