Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cross one off the list.

I finished my first Christmas present this weekend. I haven't knit anyone anything for Christmas for a few years now and it feels like time. My mom and sister-in-law will both get cashmere cowls. And since they each have a birthday that week, maybe a hat or fingerless gloves each too. My brother could probably use a new hat, though I haven't picked one out yet. And maybe a scarf for my dad. I'm pretty sure my brother absconded with the last one I made him.

This is the cowl for my sister-in-law, cast on Thanksgiving Day and washed and blocked this morning.
It's 20" around and 13" long, so relatively close-fitting, but it has a lot of drape, since it's cashmere/silk. I'm really happy with how it turned out and am publicly declaring that it's a gift so I don't decide to keep it.

I'm still waiting for good light to take some decent pictures of the fan stitch shawl, but here's a fluorescent-lit one from the train.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who has two thumbs and is still at the office after 5:30 on Thanksgiving Eve?

(We have an honest-to-God time clock, so don't get paid if we leave early.)

At least it gives me a chance to blog about stuff I haven't mentioned since I've been so busy loving on the world for the last few days.

1. Liz and I made a lunchtime trip yesterday to CB I Hate Perfume, which we've been talking about doing for ages. My favorites in the bottle were Burning Leaves and I Am a Dandelion, but I didn't love the way either of them dried down on me. Liz tried Revelation (the figgy one) and one of the violet ones, but wasn't happy with them on her either. The trip over there was worth it just for a look at the industrial-chic shop (complete with friendly mastiff) though.
And I really liked the decorative elements, the branch with scattered eucalyptus leaves in the window and lab glass filled with dried poppies.

Not to mention this great sign we passed on the way:

2. I ripped the ripple blanket back to take out a stripe of tweedy handspun that was totally the wrong gauge and way too big so it was all lumpy and horrible. It was driving me nuts and I knew it wasn't going to get any better.
and after:
Ahhhhhhh. Much better.

3. I'm excited about Thanksgiving. I'm spending it with a friend from high school I recently reconnected with through Facebook after 14 years of being out of touch. Her mom is cooking everything upstate, packing it up and sending it down with her sister on the train. I think that's hilarious, and totally just like her mom, who used to feed us pretty much constantly from the moment we walked into the house until we left, to the point that she once literally chased me to my car to give me some apples. So, I trust that there will be a ton of food. I'm making a bourbon pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust and have high hopes for it. The plan is to eat a lot and watch movies.

4. I'm also excited about going to see Milk. I'm thinking Friday afternoon.

5. I've agreed to see Twilight Sunday night, which I'm ambivalent about, since I ended up hating that series with a fiery passion and Wrong-Spelling Meyer is such a diva, but the company will be good and the movie is supposed to be so terrible that it might come around to being good again.

6. I'm in the middle of casting off the blue fan stitch shawl (picot edge) and am either going to just squeak by with the amount of yarn I have or run out very close to the end. If that happens, I'm going to finish it off with some black alpaca and call it a day.

More things loved by me

I was planning to get back to my regular what-I'm-making blogging today, but I've noticed myself dwelling a bit on things that I hate (other people's hair touching me on the subway! roommates who don't do their dishes for so long they forget that they were the ones who used them!), plus I had a comment from Heather about making these love lists a Thanksgiving week tradition, which is an awesome idea. I much the prefer the way I feel when I'm thinking about the good stuff. So, one more installment today.

151. cranberry and popcorn garlands
152. carriage houses
153. the phrase "take it under advisement"
154. big, fluffy towels
155. thrift stores and flea markets
156. my favorite sandwich in the whole entire world: sausage, mushroom, broccoli raab and tallegio panini with pickled cauliflower and fennel on the side from Bocca Lupo
157. cobblestone streets
158. mittens connected by a string
159. poking around Metalliferous
160. finding different ways people are connected to each other, like when I randomly ran into Zoe's boyfriend Graham on the street today and he introduced me to his friend-from-home Neal who looked at me for a second, asked if I was a knitter and then said that I had come over to his house once to see chickens. (Neal is Martha's husband.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I can't stop making these lists!

126. old etiquette guides
127. wrap-around porches
128. rejecting ironic detachment
129. full-sleeve tattoos
130. giant belt buckles
131. high-fiving
132. unlimited Metrocards
133. archery ranges
134. fireflies
135. museums of medical oddities
136. going to the movies
137. crepes with jam and sour cream
138. hammocks
139. manifestos
140. figs
141. synchronized dancing
142. beachcombing
143. used bookstores
144. mushrooms popping up after a rainstorm
145. hairbrush and hand mirror sets
146. the electricity in the air right before a big storm
147. fondue
148. Amelie
149. lab glass
150. cream cheese frosting

Monday, November 24, 2008


Things I didn't have room for on yesterday's list of what I love in the world:

101. Monkeys that are smaller than the human hand
102. That scene in Jaws when they're singing on the boat
103. classic cocktails
104. so many kinds of cheese!
105. opening up your email to find a message from the one person you most wanted to hear from
106. sledding
107. hats with pom-poms on top
108. everything Anne of Green Gables ever said (bosom friends! the white way of delight!)
109. Trader Joe's
110. surprise care packages, both sending and receiving
111. natural colors of wool
112. pub trivia
113. audiobooks
114. jars full of buttons
115. 30Rock
116. bacon wrapped around just about anything
117. tweed jackets with suede or corduroy elbow patches
118. feisty old ladies
119. zip lines
120. vinegar
121. dusky blues and purples
122. ballet flats
123. the theme song to '80s cartoon The Gummi Bears

124. Thai iced coffee
125. Sherlock Holmes

Sunday, November 23, 2008

100 things I love in the world

(Inspired by Heather's most excellent post. I could have lifted at least half of hers into my own list, but I'm going to aim for no repeats.)

1. sea urchins
2. the smells of wood smoke, mulch, pine trees and apple blossoms
3. ginkgo leaves
4. accordion music
5. pajamas
6. asymmetry
7. fairy tales/folk tales/mythology
8. all members of the genus Corvus: crows, ravens, magpies, etc.
9. crumbling, post-industrial landscapes
10. insects
11. clouds
12. new pens
13. silly graffiti
14. obscure graffiti
15. quirky, beautiful graffiti
16. enthusiasts of every stripe
17. a sense of the absurd
18. random acts of whimsy
19. almond cookie ice cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
20. goofy presents
21. old cemeteries
22. a plain outside hiding a surprising interior
23. cooking an elaborate dinner for friends
24. cooking an elaborate dinner just for me
25. creepy store window displays
26. exploring new neighborhoods
27. soup
28. dumplings
29. soup dumplings
30. starting a new venture
31. finishing a big project
32. canoeing with my dad
33. old family photos
34. thunderstorms
35. the fact that "Historic Bell Stolen Again" is front-page, above-the-fold news in Bennington
36. a big pile of books waiting to be read
37. pretty tea towels
38. falling asleep on the couch while reading on a Sunday afternoon
39. things that shouldn't work but do, like rose campion's combination of intensely pink flowers and muted grey-green leaves
40. hiking
41. plants that look like aliens
42. using New Year's Day to set the tone for the year
43. deviled eggs
44. watching whole seasons of tv shows on dvd
45. boysenberries
46. Moleskine notebooks
47. fancy chickens.
48. a challenging yoga practice.
49. recipes for terrible-sounding jell-o salads
50. dressing for dinner
51. unusual rabbits
52. punk: the music, the aesthetic, the attitude
53. making gingerbread houses
54. really elaborate costumes
55. a rollicking argument about something silly (zombies v. unicorns, anyone?)
56. the meat department at the now-closed Western Beef supermarket on 14th St. + 9th Ave., where instead of putting meat in refrigerated cases, they put it on shelves and refrigerated the entire room, like some kind of crazy royal storehouse
57. the fact that no one ever found that quite as odd and hilarious as I did
58. first-hand accounts of exploration
59. Lou Reed
60. fresh eucalyptus
61. surprising juxtapositions
62. pink dogwoods
63. bitter greens
64. having something you designed come out exactly the way you wanted it to
65. the Brooklyn Bridge
66. chicken soup with lemon juice
67. bare branches against a grey sky
68. mulled cider
69. silver shoes
70. remembering your dreams
71. my Aunt Yolanda's Christmas cookies
72. mutual admiration societies
73. moss and lichens
74. taking the day off on your birthday
75. stumbling across ruins
76. well-written mystery novels
77. a spirit of experimentation
78. pranks
79. the quality of light when the sky is front of you is dark, but the sun is shining behind you
80. sitting at the counter/eating at the bar
81. candlelight
82. cheering the runners on at the marathon
83. arranging books by color
84. Eastern European folk music
85. Catherine Ledner's animal photographs
86. hot pink nail polish
87. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum
88. altered taxidermy that looks like captured fairy tale creatures
89. all things yarn-related
90. the Mr. Romance competition
91. vegetables that contain smaller versions of themselves inside
92. Secret Science Club
93. old-fashioned butcher shops
94. the Promenade
95. oysters
96. keeping houseplants alive
97. friends in bands
98. peeling paint
99. sweets with just a bit of salt
100. the fact that I might have to do a follow-up since I had to leave so much out of this list

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ready for their close-up

I spent a lot of the afternoon today taking jewelry pictures. (And making somewhat unsuccessful quince caramels — I cooked them too long and made hard candy that tastes pretty good, though nothing at all like quince.) These are some of my favorite detail shots.