Thursday, October 25, 2007

Be a doctor, or just .....

... wear the scrubs that are "designed" by someone who plays one on T.V.

I find THIS very strange.

What do you think?

Monday, October 22, 2007


I wrote a post, a long time ago, about something that doesn't even matter anymore. It caused some "trouble", so I deleted it.

All that matters is that KNIT NEW HAVEN is a wonderful new yarn store in New Haven, CT.

You can read more about my lovely visit to the store HERE.

While I was there I bought this yarn:

I have spend a lot of time over the past couple of days in Doctor's offices, and this yarn has been an amazing comfort to me. I will post a picture in a few days when I write my post about my adventures in Boston.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Every now and again something happens - and even while it's happening - I think - THIS IS BLOGGABLE.

WARNING: This story will be told "Allena Style" - A 15 second interaction will be drawn out with (a lot) of "interesting" but unimportant information. I feel the need to write a warning, but there is a reward if you make it to the end!

Last Saturday unexpected rain set the stage for a small impromptu knitting with the group that I knit with, Sit 'n Knit New York. I was the first one to arrive at 590 Atrium, and was minding my own business, and truly LOVING what I was knitting.

Details of what I was knitting are necessary here so that you understand how much I was enjoying myself.

The Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy Sock Yarn in "Happy Forest". I bought this yarn from Wool Girl as my reward for finishing my 154th Monkey Bag and starting My Hiatus. It feels great, has amazing subtle hand dyed variations that give it amazing depth, and kicks Colinette Jitterbug's sorry little skein with 450 yards. I LOVE this yarn.

The Pattern: Embossed Leaves from Favorite Socks. I have been wanting to knit these for a while now and what could be better than Embossed Leaves in Happy Forest.

The Cast On: I came to the realization that due to my flat feet, socks with short row heels do not fit. This realization came with the desire to find a cast on that I liked for cuff down socks. I found THIS (f-bomb)ing tutorial for a magical tubular cast on. In order to work it in the round, I just joined the provisional cast on and worked 4 rows of purling in the round. Knitters - just knit the little tutorial. It will blow your mind!

Since I was waiting for other knitters, I was probably looking around more than I normally would, but I was really enjoying working the cast on of the second cuff. (I had placed the first aside so that I could work the socks two at a time using magic loop.)

(Oh, Penelope, I know I said that you were crazy to knit from both ends of your yarn ball when knitting socks two at a time, but I was wrong - you are brilliant. Working from both ends is so much better than two separate balls!)

All of a sudden a voice from behind me says, "You shouldn't be knitting right now, you should be on a treadmill."

I turn around to see a slightly older than middle age man sitting at a table behind me. Sitting with his feet up on a little plastic stool (that he must have brought with him), and an Amigo type vehicle parked behind him.

"Excuse me?" I squeaked.

He repeated himself. "You shouldn't be knitting right now, you should be on a treadmill."

Then I said something lame like, "Well when I work out I work out, but right now I am knitting."

And he felt the need to keep talking and said, "Well, Just as long as you do both."


The first thought that went through my head was, "But I don't have any rhythm. I'm not like Penelope (who knits on the exercise bike). I can't do one thing with my hands while my feet are doing something else." (Which is something I will have to work on to learn to spin!)

Next, this thought screamed in my head:
"Who the f-bomb do you think you are talking to (fill in your favorite expletive here). This is New York City and I am knitting with Knit Picks Nickel-Plated Fixed Circular Knitting Needles - in Size 2. This admittedly chubby girl that you are saying weird a$$ $hit to is holding two very sharp sticks!"

Then I thought, "Bloggable, totally bloggable!"

But I was way to excited to get to the part of the cast on where "the magic happens" that I could be bothered. My knitting saves lives!

Oh, and of course, I told everyone who showed up to knit the story. Tawana gave a great summary of our time knitting together - with pics.

I am getting film developed tomorrow (you remember film - it's what you have to use while your digital is on the fritz) and then there will be pics of the Bohus' progress and surgery - and my misadventures during the first night with my wheel.

If you read this entire post, and post a comment of what you would have said, I will give you a one dollar bill the next time I see you. (I will be at the Spin Out this Saturday and Rhinebeck for the Saturday). Ask Anne-Marie, she'll vouch for me, your will get a whole dollar!

Oh, and as far as I know, even though I haven't been able to make my big announcement yet, doesn't mean I won't be able to make it ..... soon I hope. GRRRRR to slow HR Departments!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


How is this for a small knitting world:

Nicole, an awesome girl I knit with, went to Austin, TX.

I told her to check out The Knitting Nest. A new shop that literally just opened. I know about the shop because the AWESOME owner Stacy, bought 10 of my bags to sell in her shop.

Nicole went to the shop and took this picture: Those are my bags! In a shop, surrounded by some really nice looking yarn. Nicole bought the lime polka dot one (hiding in the back). Assuming that Stacy is displaying all of the bags that she bought - that means that at least 6 have sold!

Mama's so proud!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Birthday Post!

Today, September 15, is my 30th Birthday!

I had a wonderful lunch with my knitting friends and then saw Across the Universe with my roommates. As a thritysomething, single woman I would like to say that there is much more you need in this world than love - like great knitting friends for instance.

I will have some BIG news in a few day - along with a new blog to chronicle my adventures as The Sinister Spinster! (I got THIS wheel for my birthday!)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Jag älskar min bohus, men hatar min kamera!

I am on chart row 40 of the yoke of my beautiful Blue Shimmer Bohus pullover - and my camera is not working. My camera is actually on it's way to Nikon to see if it can be fixed and for a cost that will not exceed its actual value.
I will describe some of what I have knit. (I did get a disposable and at some point there will be pictures)
I wanted to do hemmed edges rather than ribbed, here is what I did.
I started with this provisional cast on, which I love. I will give a crisp $1 bill to the first person who can prove to me that the provisional cast on from is possible. It is the one video of the most brilliant knitting website that I have determined to be some sort of prank.
Then I knit in stockinette for 5 rows in the main color, imagine the lightest blue that you have ever seen in a clear sky.
I also wanted a picot edge, so over the even number of stitches I:
k1, *[yo, k2tog] repeat from * to last stitch, k1 (this is the row where you turn the hem).
After knitting another 5 rows, I pulled out the provisional cast on while picking up the stitches on a separate needle. The pattern called for increasing on the first row of the yoke after the ribbing so I alternated between knitting both the original stitches together and separately with the provisional stitches to join the hem and increase in the same row. I did get some help from Nona.
Since there are no pictures I will leave you this link - it "speaks" for itself.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Since I created a blog that would allow people to create their own Commemorative Sockapalooza 4 Sock Project Bag I have:

- Sewn and shipped 56 bags.

- Increased the price of the bags to $15 plus $2 for shipping.

- Sold 5 gift certificates.

- Received payment and begun sewing a batch of 20 bags.

- Have a second batch of 19 who have all been e-mailed to expect their invoices around the 8th of August and for their bags to ship around the 15th of August.

- Have a third batch, currently with 13 bags, which I notify customers as the orders come in that their invoices will arrive around the 17th of August and bags will ship around the 27th of August.

- And not to count my Monkeys before they .... are actually paid and sewn ... may have sold 10 bags to a customer in Austin, TX, who was so thrilled with the two bags she received she wants 10 to sell in the knitting shop she is opening in September.

Including the shop order, that's ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FOUR bags!

Feeling as though I may never have time to knit again, I decided to pick a project where I could learn new skills and knit MYSELF something beautiful - to wear to Rhinebeck.

I have chosen the Bohus Blue Shimmer.

My plan to wear my beautiful Bohus Blue Shimmer at Rhinebeck is already in action.

I called School House Press today and ordered THE Bohus book:
Poems of Color by Wendy Keele
"This beautiful and historic book is available once again. Wendy Keele thoroughly researched the topic of Bohus knitting in Swedish museums and with some of the actual Bohus knitters; she even persuaded Emma Jacobson's heirs to release the closely guarded instructions for these amazing works of art. A book of truly lovely designs that we can now knit ourselves."

I knew I needed to by a kit to knit this sweater. School House Press recommended MaryJo of Stage Coach Yarns. She hand dyes all of the yarn to match the original Bohus designs. She has some kits ready to ship, others you might have to wait a week or so while she dyes the yarn for your kit! I know this because I called her today - such a sweet woman - and took it as a sign that she had a kit in the Blue Shimmer ready to ship and ordered one.

During my Bohus Googling, yes Bohus Googling (say it out load, you have to laugh!), I found Susanna Hansson's site. I was linked there by a blog that was raving about her Bohus workshops. A quick search of Susanna's workshop schedule that she would be giving a Bohus Workshop at WEBS on September 30th! I have given myself Susanna's workshop to myself as a 30th birthday present (I will be 30 on the 15th of September). The workshop is not even posted on the WEBS website and it is already almost full.

My plan is to have the sweater completed up to the colorwork by the workshop -although Susanna sells kits for wristlets at the workshop to knit a little Bohus - and to have the sweater completed by Rhinebeck.

That is, if the monkeys don't kill me first!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Top Five Blue Things

OF ALL TIME! (totally stolen from High Fidelity)

#5 - Blue Jeans - What would we wear without them?

#4 - Blue Satin Sashes - (My Favorite Things - The Sound of Music)

#3 - Blue Cheese - You have to love a visible mold that tastes so good.

#2- Blue - The Joni Mitchell Album with the song All I Want with the line
"I wanna knit you a sweater"

And the Top Blue Thing of All Time

Thank you Alison!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Where are you on the Ravelry wait list?

You can now check to see where you are on "The List" for your Ravelry invitation.
I love the title they gave the page to check your spot.

I would say that antsy is a pretty good descriptions of how I am feeling!

Here are my stats:

You signed up on June 4, 2007
You are #6386 on the list.
575 people are ahead of you in line.
11136 people are behind you in line.
32% of the list has been invited so far


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Aren't they cute?

Here is the second batch of Sockapalooza 4 Bags, all ready to be packed and shipped:

I told the third batch to stand up straight!

It has been so much fun to see all of the different combinations that people have made! Yes, I am having a lot of FUN!

Don't you want one? Just go to, and create a bag that I sew just for you!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!

On Tuesday I launched . Using Sockapalooza 4 themed Moda Funky Monkey fabric I am letting people choose their own fabric for their bag. I started selling them at $10 and then realized that $12 was much more sensible (and profitable). I posted about it here and on the Sockapalooza 4 pligg. In less than 48 hours I have sold sixteen bags!

Okay, I was going to tell this whole story (yes, Anne-Marie, there is always a story), but I have bags to sew and I have a feeling there may be a lot more bags to sew! Because Alison, of The Blue Blog, author of Charmed Knits: Projects for the Fans of Harry Potter (which I own), the whole organizer of Sockapalooza 4, bought one of my bags! I sent her the invoice like everyone else and then e-mailed her to ask if it was okay if I blogged about her buying one of my bags. She not only said that I could blog about it, but she said that when she gets the bag she is going to blog about it!!!

I think I am going to need more fabric!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hey Sockapalooza 4 Knitters - CHECK THIS OUT!

Hey Sockapalooza 4 Knitters, and knitters who love a cool project bag, check this out:
You get to choose from 10 fabrics to create your own commemorative Sockapalooza 4 project bag!

The bag is completely reversible. These pictures are of opposite sides of the same bag.

The sides measure approximately 7.5" high by 20" around.

The bottom is 5" by 5" square.

Every bag gets 30 inches of 2mm silk wrapped red elastic cord with a black plastic double stop.

And did I mention that they are only $12 - including shipping? Better order soon, the fabric will run out eventually!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Knit on the Fourth of July

I have been meaning to knit a sweater for I decided that the Fourth of July was perfect. I realize it is simple and small, but a finished object in about 90 min. (I am a slow seamer) is preaty cool! Oh, and you don't sew in those two ends - there are used to tie all of the sweaters together.
I have a ton of extra Red Heart left over, so if you want to knit one let me know and I'll give some "Heart".

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Of course there's a story...

... there's always a story. This one ended with me returning to New York today. I think this post card I got at the airport on my way home sums it up for now: There are some really good bits to my time in Richmond, most involving yarn and knitting ... I will fill y'all in real soon, ya here - ma'am.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


An empty martini glass, his favorite "desert" cat on your shoulder , and a Country Curtains Catalogue .... That's My Dad!
If I can every manage to explain to him what a blog is maybe he will visit someday. He looks good for 72, but has only just learned how to use the frog (what the rest of us call a mouse).

Friday, June 15, 2007

Even bigger news!

Today I became an aunt for the second time! Both Mommy and baby are doing fine, oh and my brother the Dad is also well. Ashley Nicole was born at 12:43 p.m. She weighs 7 lbs and 8 ozs. and is 19 inches long.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Whoo Hooo!


I GOT A JOB TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's an 8 week travel assignment at Bon Secours, St. Mary's in Richmond, Va.

I am replacing an employee who's last day is next Friday. I want to get there as soon as I can to have as much time training with her as possible. However, there is a lot to do, between now and when my flight leaves JFK at 9:05 AM on Tuesday.

1) Tomorrow I am getting a FED EX am delivery of a package which will include numerous forms to sign (one even needs to be notarized), and specimen collection containers. I will have to fax certain forms along with photocopies of CPR certification and ARDMS ID card. All original forms need to be sent back in a return FED EX envelope.

2) Take the PATH to Hoboken get on the 1:10 PM train to Middletown, NY. My mother is picking me up and taking me to a Doctor's office in Monroe to fill the specimen containers so that a lab can confirm that I have all the necessary titers and that even though I blog while intoxicated I don't do drugs. And have a PPD planted to make sure that I don't have TB.

3) Witness the birth, okay, no, be in the same building while my sister has a scheduled C-section. I am going to be an aunt again earlish Monday morning. My sister-in-law's one request is that John (nephew extraordinaire - soon to be BB - shoot I need to find him the t-shirt) be the first one to see the new baby! Well, firstish. I think this is super sweet.

4) Go back to the Dr's office on Saturday (yes they are open on Saterdays) to have the PPD read to make sure I don't have TB.

5) Go back to the city and ......

It's going to be a freak show - with me as the main attraction. Don't be surprised if you don't hear from me until I am in Richmond.

Oh, but look what I found on Yahoo yellow pages!

That's right 4 knitting shops in Richmond alone.

And fabric, check this out!

Yep, 16 fabric stores, in Richmond!

Of course I have my priorities in order! Right now I am blogging while drinking this:


Okay, I do need advice on what is the best way to get my sewing machine to Richmond. I am thinking I might have to carry it on! Advice?

To all of my New York knitting buddies ... I will miss you all. If my apartment/long-term hotel has a top loading washing machine - the felting IS ON!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Yeah, I'm it, I'm it!

Okay, so this blog tagging thing is going around. Thank you Anne-Marie for tagging me!

I found the "rules" on Chante's Blog.
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts about themselves.
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their 8 random things and post the rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I tend to be a little bit of an "over sharer" so I will try and censor myself .. a little. But, I am going to use lots of pictures - didn't Anne-Marie look cute on the Cat Chow box?

1) My mother's parents both worked for Aramco in Saudi Arabia. My grandfather, Paul, was recruited as a Petroleum Engineer and my grandmother, Elizabeth, as a Nurse. They met there, fell in love, got married (all my grandmother had to wear was her best dress - it was black!), my grandmother was fired, had my mother, and they became the first westerns to live in Abqaiq (pronounced Ab Cake), Saudi Arabia. I believe the picture on the left was taken on their wedding weekend on Bahrain Island. You can read the whole story in Chapter Two of this book.

2) From the time I was 6 months old until I was 27 months my family (Dad, Mom, older brother Paul) lived in
San 'a', Yemen. My father was the Military Attache at the American Embassy. We were "evacuated" when the hostages were taken at the American Embassy in Iran. I say "evacuated" because my mother, "just didn't see why we had to rush, we were leaving soon anyway!" This is a truly random fact about me because I do not have a single memory of my time in Yemen.

#3) I was raised by a retired military intelligence officer turned onion farmer and a teacher in a very small town just northwest of New York City. Pine Island, New York, is mainly drained swamp land. The soil is so rich, it is black - and actually quite beautiful. It is hard to believe that this place exists less than two hours from New York City. It is a great place to visit in the fall if you have kids - all of the trucks and tractors, and it is really close to orchards for fruit picking.

4) I graduated in 1999 from Skidmore College with a Bachelor of Science in Theater with a concentration in Acting!!!!!!!??????????? A Bachelor of Science just means you have more credits in your major, but it also just makes it sound like B.S. I miss the way acting used to make me feel, but by the time I graduated it just wasn't worth it anymore.

5) Since graduating from college I have lived (in this order): Newnan, Ga - Atlanta, Ga - Danville (Bay Area), Ca - Sacramento, Ca (which I fondly refer to as the Albany of California) - back home to Pine Island - Boston, Ma - and now in Astoria, NY. Astoria is by far my favorite.

6) I moved to New York from Boston to complete a 15 month Ultrasound program. I have been looking for an Ultrasound job seriously since passing the ARDMS registry exam in February. (There were two tests - one in Physics and one specially, I took general abdomen). It has literally been going nowhere, but I DO NOT WANT TO MOVE again. So, if you know anyone who works in a Radiology Dept. anywhere please let me know. It just seems to be the sort of job where you have to know someone to even know that a job exists - in NYC anyway.

7) When I lived in Sacramento (how I even got there is a long story) I got a job for an Event Planning company called, The Fun Company (save your jokes, it gets better). The Fun Company provided the services for LARGE company picnics. We would bring all of the BBQ equipment, carnival games, bounce houses, etc. We serviced the entire west coast from Oregon to Mid Texas. In order to get the equipment to all of these places I learned to drive stick on 30 foot
30,000 lb truck. I am 4' 11" - I had to drive w/ a pillow behind me in order to get the clutch all the way in - you do a lot of shifting up and down the mountains of Washington and Oregon. Oh, and I had to wear this t-shirt (this is the back):

8) My favorite appliance is the Sharp Warm and Toasty. It is a microwave/toaster oven in one unit. It king of freaks me out - there is metal in the microwave - but it cooks veggies like you wouldn't believe! Also, in the summer you can cook without using your huge, heat creating oven. The warm and toasty comes a close second to my Melitta 1:1 coffee maker - it makes coffee a cup at a time, in less than a minute!

I tag Gail, Kris, Cindy, Judes, Senora Fuerte, Kristina, and Jen (with the best blog name ever), and Brian Williams.

And don't forget to check out my Etsy store:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Better Early Than Late!

I am please to announce that my Etsy Shop is now open!
In case you were wondering, THIS is the big project I have been alluding to over the past couple of posts. If you have any suggestions - or god forbid notice a grammar, syntax or spelling error - please let me know
It's funny to realize that choosing and cutting the fabric, finding notions and cord, sewing, falling down, were the easy parts.
I would like to introduce you to the difficult lady of the process:
Lucy - the Knitting Ewe on the Go

I created Lucy with the cunning use of rubber stamps, scanner, photo editing software, printer, a black sharpie, and my kitchen table. Putting a push light on the wire rack under the glass top made it the perfect tracing table. Considering I do not draw - Lucy is pretty great. Special thanks to Penelope, the skate board was her idea. Dan, the best roommate EVER, was that voice that everyone needs during a creative process. The voice that says things like, "I really can't tell what that is suppose to be."

Lucy is a very useful ewe.

I used her to make this button (which is also on the sidebar of my blog):

knitting ewe button

It still needs a little work.

The banner for my shop:

Banner Maker Pro 6 was the perfect tool for the button and banner - they also have a 15-day trail period.

She will also appear on the tag that will be attached to each item. Lucy on the front with care information, etc. on the back. I also made business cards so that I can give them to people when they ask me about my "lovely handmade bag".

I am going to be creating a special limited edition - available by special order only - Sit 'N Knit New York - bag. How special? Well, I ordered the silk screen printing kit today. The first will be raffled on World Wide Knit in Public Day.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lucille Clifton

I listen to WNYC all the time. I listen on-line via Itunes Radio. During the day I listen to FM (93.9) and in the evening, when the FM station plays classical music I switch to AM (820). I was listening to News and Notes this evening when the host, Farai Chideya, introduced me to the amazing poet, Lucille Clifton. This is my new favorite poem:

wishes for sons

i wish them cramps.
i wish them a strange town
and the last tampon.
i wish them no 7-11.

i wish them one week early
and wearing a white skirt.
i wish them one week late.

later i wish them hot flashes
and clots like you
wouldn't believe. let the
flashes come when they
meet someone special.
let the clots come
when they want to.

let them think they have accepted
arrogance in the universe,
then bring them to gynecologists
not unlike themselves.

Let me hear an Amen! Yes, this is my new favorite poem.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Laughing without making a sound

My Mom loves to laugh, she just doesn't make any noise while doing it. She laughs by smiling really big and shaking, really hard. I have to say that during my acting days this made her a bad stage mother. I love it when she really gets going. Her face gets really red, tears roll down her cheeks, and she generally looks like her head might blow off. This is very hard to describe in a positive way, but I love my Mom's laugh! The only times it ever bothered me were when she did it in public during my obnoxious teen years. In retrospect, my favorite time was when she "laughed" for a good five minutes when my dentist told her I would need to see an Orthodontist because of my "small mouth".

Several years of braces and retainers later my teeth are okay, but my mouth is still small (and my Mom still laughs whenever she hears this). This is my excuse for often biting off way more than I can chew. I am postponing my "Big Reveal" until Sunday, May 27th. I just want everything to be a little more "perfect" than it is now. May 27th also holds special meaning for me. Four years ago this May 27th I survived a major medical procedure. Now, May 27th will also be the anniversary of ........ Can you feel it? Suspense?!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Big Ouch - So Worth It!

I have a really big project in the works - all will be revealed by Friday, May 18. I had a list of six places to get to in about 4 hours. My first stop was The Ink Pad. I was walking along minding my own business when this old lady punched me ... okay, I tripped over a curb. I didn't cry, but I wanted to, especially when I saw my pants!
I hobbled into the little convenience store/cafe on the corner where I bought some band aids and asked for a wet napkin. I felt really bad for the people sitting at the tables, but I had no choice but to grab a chair and clean myself up. My right knee is really bad - and my right palm is bad, but could be worse. I decided to continue with my day, and I am so glad I did. I even managed to stay on my diet. I passed
this by while still teary eyed from my kiss with the concrete.

Look what I found at The Ink Pad!

I couldn't have even imagined anything more perfect. Totally worth the skinned knee! Can you feel the suspense of my big reveal building?

The rest of my day went by without injury. and I even made it to M & J Trimmings before they closed. I was literally their last customer of the day.

I am now clean and bandaged:

Despite my wounded hand I got a good deal of knitting done while riding the subway today. I am almost ready to start the heel of my second Pomatomus. The yarn is Sundara's
redemption from her previous offerings. I am absolutely in love with the April offering of her Petal's Collection, the Dahlia.

You're right Penelope, there's light at the end of the yarn ball! (Yeah, I just linked to Penelope's long awaited blog for the first time!)

Here are two more teasers before the big reveal:

I want to give a shout out to Chante and the awesome bat of roving that I bought from her Etsy Store, Harlem Purls. My package arrived in the mail right away and I love the complimentary stitch marker that came with it. I love the color, which was true to her posted photo, and as soon as I have time that drop spindle of mine won't know what spun it!

I've got work to do - big reveal in less than 4 days!!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Knitta Sock Exchange!

Here's a little slide show of the socks that were exchanged at Sit N' Knit New York's secret sock exchange. Sorry that I wasn't always sure who had knit and who had received which socks, but I did my best. Here's a tip, after the music starts you have to hit the play button and you may also want to drag the speed to the slowest setting. If you liked the song you can download it here. Enjoy!

powered by Smilebox
Make your own | Click to play

Friday, May 04, 2007

SSHHH, I have a secret!

Tomorrow, my knitting group, Sit N' Knit New York, is having it's sock exchange party. I'm ready! This is all I will reveal for now ...

Monday, April 30, 2007

No Caribou for you, me, or anyone else!

Update Since Last Post: I called Ardor Health this morning to let Jennifer know that Leslie never called me on Friday for the interview. She called me back at about 3:00 this afternoon (the 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. wait was ugly) to let me know that Leslie no longer needed an Ultrasound Tech in Caribou.

With hands thrown up in the air in a pose of "Why - Why!" I am trying not to submit to the overwhelming feelings of self-doubt and defeat, but it is getting really hard.

Instead I will share some of the things that have made me smile over the past few days.

1) I have completed just short of 12 of the 17 pattern repeats of the first half of the center panel of my Blind Assassin Stole.

Reason Number 314 of why I love to knit: Waiting is no longer done in vain. Regardless of my disappointment in not having a job I do have something very beautiful to show for my fret filled weekend. I love this stole. The Silk/Cashmere looks and feels wonderful. I also feel like a little fairy knitting with the triple zeros. There is one (okay 12 so far - eventually 34) bit of Wabi Sabi - one stitch in each pattern repeat is suppose to be a slip, slip, slip, knit 3 together - I have just been knitting 3 together like the stitch 6 rows below. Its okay, its the Assassin's Wabi Sabi.

2) My wonderful roommate Dan found this hysterical cartoon, Unicorn Planet. You can watch the first two episodes here. Dan and I especially enjoy singing the theme song. (Heyyy!) The episodes are really short and stream right over UTube - you won't regret it.

3) I was annalysing my account with blog counter and found this link in my "Top 30 Referers" -

Which brought me to a query done on Google: Recherche de Blogs. It was a Google Blog Search site - in French. After a Google search of "Google blog search" I found "Google Blog Search." I think this is pretty cool - and since my French is tres mal, it's a good thing I found the English version, right sisterjaan?

4) I had a wonderful time spinning with Tawana, Hila, and Tomo, from Sit N' Knit New York's spinning meetup on Sunday. It is so wonderful doing something that you are truly bad at with people that you truly like! Oh, not to worry drop spindle of mine, I will master you yet!

Tomorrow I am going to buy a new pair of "inteviewesque" walking shoes and begin planning my mission to bring - in person - my resume to every ultrasound department within an hour of my apartment. HEYYY! (If you watched Unicorn Planet you would have sung along with that!)

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Blind Assasin Stole

I am writing this post as I wait for a phone interview for a 13 week job assignment in Caribou, Maine. Knitting needles are crossed.

According to Wikipedia - "The reindeer, known as caribou when wild in North America, is an Arctic and Subarctic-dwelling deer (Rangifer tarandus)." I have been having an extremely hard time finding an Ultrasound job - how great would it be if a reindeer helped me get this job! Caribou, Maine is also not far from Montreal, which after a quick Google search appears to have many yarn stores! If I have to go Subarctic to work - much better in the Spring and Summer!

A while back I read The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. There is a story within the story which is told by a young man to his lover during their clandestine encounters. It is complicated, so I will just give the relevant detail. The location where the story takes place is known for their beautiful hand-woven carpets. The carpets are so intricate that they can only be woven by children - small nimble hands. The children eventually go blind because of the intricate work the carpets require. The value of the carpets are determined by the number of children who went blind while weaving them. I have begun a project that I will be calling: The Blind Assassin Stole. The pattern is the Print O' the Wave Stole designed by Eunny Jang. I decided I wanted to do the cobweb version. I ordered a cone of lilac silk/cashmere "yarn" from ColourMart Cashmere. This is why I call it "yarn". Okay it is literally thread. Luscious cashmere/silk thread - but thread. I ended up winding it triple - and although it adds another challenge to the knitting, it is worth it. (That is my favorite coffee mug - I got it this summer while on vacation in the Adirondacks at Blue Mountain Designs - it's hand thrown.)

Phone interview update: It is now 5:30 p.m. and I have not heard from Leslie in Caribou who will be interviewing me over the phone. I called Jennifer, my contact at Ardor Health, and she told me to hang in there, Leslie should be calling today. It is going to be a long weekend if she does not call today.

Eunny's pattern calls for size 00 needles for the cobweb version and I ended up getting size 000 - since I was able to buy them at my favorite LYS - Downtown Yarns. That's the size 000 on the left as compared with a size 1 on the right. I know it is crazy - but look how crazy beautiful it looks (and it's not even blocked yet)!

OOOH! AAAAH! It is worth it! And it feels so light and soft. I tried taking a picture while stretching it out with my hands but I cannot do it myself, I'll have one at the next update. Oh, and in case you were wondering this is going to be for me!

5:50 p.m.: Still no call - outlook getting dimmer.

I finished the Lenten Rose socks and gave them to a very pleased Allison.
I gave them to her before a performance of Transfigures at The Woman's Project. I couldn't get her to put them on there and since I haven't heard from her, I can only assume that they fit.

6:05 p.m.: Still no call - have started drinking!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Somewhere in Kabul....

... my knitting is keeping a little girl's feet warm!

Two months ago I knit these Mystery Cable socks for Afghans for Afghans. A woman named Marsha took the socks with her to two schools she works with in Kabul, Afghanistan.

I just received this e-mail update from Afghans for Afghans:

"Marsha MacColl has returned from Kabul, where she distributed our wool socks to students at two schools operated by Afghans 4 Tomorrow. We can all be so pleased and proud of Marsha. She did a phenomenal job of conveying our messages of friendship, caring, and respect. Marsha creatively incorporated our socks in her English-language instruction, and we provided funds so she could purchase snack treats as part of a little celebration. Marsha distributed our gifts with tremendous personal attention and regard for both the students and the sock-knitters! The girls and boys were given the unusual experience of selecting what they wanted from the array of socks. These kids absolutely needed socks -- often their feet are bare when they remove their shoes in the classroom. Marsha kindly shared some larger socks with teachers and school staff, too.We'll tell you more about these experiences and provide some photos in the near future. Thank you, again, to all who responded to the needs of the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus and Afghans 4 Tomorrow. There are plenty of warmer and happier heads and feet now -- and all of our hearts are warmer, too!"

My heart is warmer too! There were tears rolling down my cheeks while I pictured a little girl picking out my socks! I read a great post on Knitting Knews a while back, that gave very valid reasons for not knitting for charity. It really made me think about why I enjoy it so much. I have come to the conclusion that the knitting is just as much for me as is for them.

I will smile often, thinking of those little pink socks on warmer feet in Kabul!

They are currently excepting items for the "Mother's Day Campaign for Afghan Mothers."
I am going to knit something and send it in honor of my mother as her Mother's Day present. (Mom, I doubt you are reading this, but if you are, promise to be surprised and honored, okay?)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Sisterjaan and What's Knitting - A Post in Two Parts


My sister Amy (aka Amyjaan), is currently living in Doha, Qatar - a middle eastern country across the gulf from Iran. She is doing post-graduate study of Arabic at Qatar University. She is there on a full scholarship from a program that is facilitated through Georgetown University. Yes, she is majnoona (Arabic for crazy girl), but in the most awesome sense of the word. She doesn't like Doha very much, her actual word for it in Qatartid, but she says that her Arabic is improving and she has been able to do a lot of traveling. Recently she got food poisoning and a kidney infection while traveling in Turkey with her American boyfriend Tom(he came to Turkey from Chicago). Hilarity ensued Amyjaan style due to her one semester of college Turkish. I only got worried when she told me that at one point they had called in a surgery consult - she assumed in was her appendix, since the Doctor had done a lot of pushing on her left side. Being that the appendix is on the right side and that my sister's Turkish is not very good, no one knows why the surgical consult was called (if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them). Just know that she is back in Qatar and must be feeling better since she just instant messaged me, while very intoxicated. The above picture was taken sometime before Christmas. She is wearing the Abaya that she is required to wear at the University. She actually loves it. It allows her to roll out of bed - throw it on over her pajamas - and go to class. (I love her so much!) She is holding her cat Oskar, who came to my parent's house with her for Christmas and ended up staying in New York. Oskar has the loudest, most annoying meow and eats everything - really, I watched him attack and eat a roll. He was abandoned at birth so he has food issues. Feel free to leave questions or comments on the blog for Amy -she will read them and will respond.

I finished the Pea Pod Baby Set. I am really happy with how it came out. Things got a little dicey with adapting the guage - chart repeats of the lace, number of rows, increasing the arms and decreasing the hat - but no one got hurt and I think it looks great! I felt like a real knitting ninja while knitting the arms two at a time magic loop style! The problem that I always run into doing two at a time is the way the two balls of yarn wind around one another - creating crazy knots. I solved this by putting each ball in a zip lock bag and unwinding every row or two. I think the thing that I like best are the "bobble instead of buttons." Now I don't have to worry about my knitting choking a small child!

I also have done some work on my Lenten Rose socks. They are the 30th birthday present for my friend Allison. She is 6 feet tall and her foot measures 10" from heel to big toe - so it is sort of on a dare that I am knitting her socks.
The legs are on the short side - due to my absolute paranoia about having enough of the one of a kind Sundara Petals Collection sock yarn. I turned the heel on the first one and was working my way down the foot when I decided that I should start the second to avoid second sock syndrome. I love the way the lace looks on this huge sock! I knit several chart repeats on the size ones that the pattern called for - but Allison couldn't get the few rows of cuff over her heal - so I frogged and am knitting with two's. Although this does allow for faster knitting it only increased my yardage worries. However, with only a few inches of the sock to go you can see that I will have pleanty of yarn. A note about Sundara Petal's Collection: I will not be ordering the next three month installment. I was generally disappointed with the Lenten Rose yarn - mainly because it did not match the tone of the flower that inspired the yarn. As for the Bird of Paradise - there is only so much love I can give to varigated dayglow pink, yellow and green. I only got angry when I saw the Cherry Blossom yarn that she did for Sundara Yarn's one year anniversay. It is so incredibly beautiful that it made me feel as though she really cheated the people who had paid more for the Petal's Collection. Even if SOCKATION 2007 didn't last long - it made me realize that there are a lot of things I want to knit and a sock club might just not be for me. Sundara's April better wow me though, because right now I am feeling really burnt!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

stupid, STupid, STUPID!

Last night, on row 58, as I started the underarm decreases of my Pea Pod Baby sweater, I realized that I had 12 too many stitches. I must have counted the stitches 10 times and could not believe that I kept getting 147 when I should have had 135. I put it on a long Knit Picks Options chord, set it aside, and used my stress relief device.

I just couldn't figure out how I ended up with 12 extra stitches. It must have been an evil knitting sprite who changed my knitting while I slept. I checked my numbers again this morning - just in case the good fairy had come and changed it back - but still there were 12 extra stitches. There was nothing to do but start over. I did leave the 58 rows on the chord - someday I will finish the sweater as a larger size, or I will need the yarn and frog it. After the 7th row of my "start-over" I realized my mistake. In the 3rd row of the ribbing there is a yarn over - in the 7th row you knit a section of stitches out of order and KNIT 2 TOGETHER. Guess how many times this happens? That's right - 12! Somehow during my first attempt I didn't do the knit 2 togethers. The only thing that is keeping me knitting is knowing how much faster attempt two will be with 12 fewer stitches in every row. That's 612 fewer stitches! WOW!

I did have a lot of fun at Sit N’ Knit Crochet today. Forbes Magazine is doing a story about and a reporter and photographer came to our meetup. Here is a picture of the photographer and Chante taking a picture of the themed name tag that I knit.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I am a HUGE dork ... and that is so cool!

My day of "REPRESENTing" was perfect. I woke up in the morning and realized that my "Represent Hat" was still damp. First I ironed it... then I blew the inside with a hair dryer... then I just put it on my head and decided it was dry enough and the dampness would allow for perfect blocking. I have to admit that I was a bit confused by the whole hat thing. For some reason I thought that everyone was suppose to wear a hat to represent knitters who couldn't be there - it really was itching by the end of the day - but I had to keep it on because the hat head was ridiculous!

In the morning I took the train to Strawberry Fields for the "sock photo op." I met another knitter on the train, who told me about this must have
t-shirt. At the park, we were interviewed by KAT from the knitting video podcast Let's Knit2gether. I also met Guido (2Skeins) Stein ,the knitting show host of the podcast It's a Purl, Man. He is a really cool guy. I just subscribed to his podcast and I am looking forward to having something new to listen to while knitting.

Here are all of our socks around the "Imagine" mosaic. Mine are the at about 11 o'clock, just outside of the large white "thing". I like to think John is pleased.

Here is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot, signing my copy of Knitting Rules. As she signed the book, I explained that my knitting circle had a contest to knit a name tag, and I won the book she was signing. She looked at me - with the admiration of a mother who just watched their child play a baked potato in the Thanksgiving play - and said, "I love knitters." Now, not to turn this into something that it isn't, but it was really great to have someone who didn't know me at all - see me.

Here's what she wrote.

In case you can't make it out it says, "To Allena - Obsession is normal. Stepanie Pearl-McPhee"

As people started to leave the park I realized that I had a voice message from Anne-Marie, the fearless leader of Sit N' Knit, New York. We had e-mailed earlier about me being the contact person for Sit N' Knit's reserved seats. Anne-Marie couldn't be there because she had just delivered "the future knitter," Anastasia Marie, on the 16th of March. Anne-Marie decided that it would be easiest if I just came by her apartment so she could give the stuff that I would need. It was so great to see AM(Squared). I even got to hold the "future knitter," and she is absolutely beautiful. Anne-Marie looked great, and seems to have adapted to motherhood perfectly.

From Anne-Marie's, I made my way to FIT to see the Yarn Harlot "Represent." It was a little stressful figuring out how Sit N' Knits reserved seats were going to work, but it was all worth it once we were seated in the front row.

Here's a decent picture of the crowd, but we did fill up the place. Special thanks to Wendy, for holding my camera above her head to get the shot. The red bags that you see were on each chair and contained size 8 Boyle needles, a skein of Patons SWS, and patterns to knit a square for Warm Up America! I ended up having to finish my square at home, but I am a big fan of the Patons SWS. It feels really soft, and I love the color repeats. I gave the leftover to Dan, I think doing a square will be a good way for him to recognize the difference the difference between knit and purl stitches.

Here is my failed attempt at one of The Harlot's sock shots. Believe it or not Stephanie is on stage behind that sock, but I realize that I might as well have taken this picture in a dark room. Special thanks to Judes for holding it out for me, unfortunately hers didn't come out any better... but her sock rocks enough for me to show the picture anyway. My picture of Stephanie on stage tuned out horrible, so I won't bore you with it.

To Be Continued.......