Wednesday, June 28, 2006


my little college

I got a call tonight from my undergraduate college, which has suspiciously good tracking skills and has now followed me through four moves, seamlessly, somehow always discovering my new phone number and address. Jenna made a strong argument for why we, as alums, should contribute to the annual fund, and even though I have many thousands of dollars in student loans yet to pay, I now always contribute. Thank you, my responsible and civic-minded friend! Also, they always put really cute, sweet, optimistic environmental studies majors on the phone and you feel like it's slapping a puppy to say no to them.

Soon, I will have some updated knitting news. I completed my 13th pair of socks in 13 months, and I am taking the double 13s as a signal to cool it with the socks for a little while. 9 of those pairs were made for someone besides me, so I may have reached saturation point with the gifting of socks. Rebecca gave me absolutely GORGEOUS camel hair (yes! camel hair) yarn in a merlot-y color for my birthday so I am excitedly knitting up a scarf with it. Apparently it blooms during the washing process. Blooms! And becomes like cashmere.

Cashmere is a good summer fiber, right? Humidity be damned!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


The stats

What I'm drinking:
Crystal Light, "Raspberry Ice" flavor. This blood-colored beverage is miraculously made from a tiny plastic container of powder and tap water, yet tastes absolutely delicious. It also dyes my mouth red, making me look like a vampire. Soooo hot. I mixed up a pitcher yesterday and now it's all gone. Maybe I need to take it easy for a few days, lest the maltodextrin, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium have any ill effects. Gotta love a beverage with three artificial sweeteners. Just makes me want MOOOORRRRE! I'm like Little Krissy, but with fake sugar.

Pinot Grigio. Not even gonna tell you what kind. Just pick up any large bottle under $12 and you'll have the gist. I have not yet tried mixing Crystal Light with wine but it is almost surely disgusting. I will almost surely try it soon.

What I'm watching:
History Detectives. They're finally back. This show is the best. I love it when they do research and show their eyes darting all over the place, getting increasingly hysterical. That's exactly how I feel every day at work. History is the crazymaker!

Gilmore Girls, Season Four. Got to finish it up and send it off to Mama in Montana. This is not the greatest season (that would be Season Two), but there are some pretty great scenes. Telling someone their hair looks like "10 cents a dance" is a pretty awesome way of calling someone a whore. Not sure when it will come in handy, but it will. It will.

What I want to be watching:
Project Runway. July 12! Come quickly, sweet friend. Or just send Tim Gunn. LOVE Tim Gunn.

What I'm reading:
Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers. Rebecca recommended this one and it is pretty great. Lots of British aristocratic hoo-ha. Excellent detectively sleuthing. Negatives: weird comments about Jewish characters (the book was published originally in 1923--is the author making fun of anti-semitism/anti-semitic characters? Would like to think so, but probably not) Also, I'm usually not picky about format, but this is a collection of 4 Sayers books in one volume and the type is so small that the whole first novel is only 106 pages. I'll read for 20 minutes and find myself only 7 pages further along. So humbling.

Cause Celeb by Helen Fielding. I have been reading this book for over three (3!) years and I just don't know what my block is. The writing is lively and engaging, the plot is certainly interesting (a British publicist goes to work in a refugee camp in Africa and becomes deeply involved in humanitarian work), and yet I have read Bridget Jones's Diary at least four times since I started reading this book. Maybe I just like reading sentences with implied subjects.

L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy. This book gave me nightmares so I put it down for a while. I read the Black Dahlia this spring* and was blown away by it, and I am sure Ellroy's vivid descriptions of the seedier Tijuana bars circa 1946 will never be extracted from my memory, much to my sorrow. He's just that good. He gives me nightmares involving L.A. crime, and I've never even been to L.A. I can't say he really makes me want to go, either. Especially not if it's 1946.

What are you drinking? Watching? Reading? Knitting? Thinking?

*I read it because the girls on America's Next Top Model were living in the alleged Black Dahlia killer's house. I have no aspirations to sophistication.

Sunday, June 18, 2006



I'm back in Connecticut after a wonderful birthday weekend in North Carolina. The weather was warm and sunny (except for Wednesday's downpour), lots of friends came out for birthday drinks at the OCSC, and we got to visit many favorite local spots. Angela was a fabulous hostess, and she made delicious buttery toast and hot coffee each morning--truly fortifying after some late nights. She was also not adverse to letting me lie around on her living room rug reading Newsweek. Any friend of Newsweek is a friend of mine.

Leaving North Carolina again was a bit difficult, although it is far too embarrassing to admit getting choked up at the sight of the I-40 sign for exit 273. Only a fool would be so sentimental, right? Anyway, it was a bit melancholy coming back to Olde New Englande, but my tomato plants have started growing real tomatoes, so life is not entirely without thrills. Also, it's really hot here so the cats are delightfully wilty.

Coming next: yarn, duh! Also, how knitting in public helped me make friends with a Cuban couple in the Raleigh-Durham airport. Knitting: the international symbol for goodwill.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


my cat is spoiled

Graybaby, the alpha cat in our house, has lately taken to kneading select skeins of yarn, leading me to believe (as I have long suspected) that she is, in fact, descended from stuffed animals and her mother was made of yarn. GB is especially fond of the finer German sock yarns and Rowan's Cashsoft DK. Let's face it: baby's got class.

Instead of a stern scolding, I decided to make Graybaby her own blanket so she can knead up a storm and perhaps let the yarn that costs $8.95 a skein live in peace. When Rebecca, Mr. Cupcakes, and I went to the Webs Tent Sale, I found an excellent deal on Tahki's Panda yarn. Only $20 for a bag of 10 balls. Sweet! No, it's not made of cashmere (or panda) but it is a very soft polar fleece.

Using the Slipped Diagonal Rib from Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, I made up a blanket of three panels, each 34 stitches across on size 15 needles (a.k.a. 10cm, a.k.a. Lincoln logs--crazy big, but so fast). There are only 54 yards in each ball so I wasn't really sure how much length I was going to get, so I just knit up three balls per panel, using the 10th ball to finish off the pattern repeat each time. I used the yarn left on the 10th ball to sew the panels together and crochet along the ends. This blanket is a zoom-zoom-zoom knit.

The final measurements are 26" by 37." A good baby blanket size and a GREAT Graybaby blanket size.
I thought about making fringe, but Graybaby's mortal enemy is the pom-pom, which she is sworn to destroy. I had a feeling fringe would get the old pull-eru from the jaws of my sweet baby cat.

The reverse is a bit of a snooze but still knead-worthy.

Of course, when I wanted to take a picture of the blanket, all the cats, who have spent hours lounging on the blanket over the past two weeks, recoiled at being forced to sit on the blanket. They cried and ran away like I was putting their delicate, Fancy Feast-fed paws on burning hot coals. The only way I could get a shot was to wiggle a ruler under the blanket and put Graybaby on the hunt.

And she rewarded me with this ghostly image:

This cat takes care of business in a flash, I tells ya.

Coming up next: more socks! You fall asleep! I go to North Carolina and try to figure out how to stay in Carrboro forever.

Kidding, know I love your icy June winds. And you make pretty good pizza.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Socks (belated)

These are some socks I made for Brad for his birthday...

which was almost a month ago. your mailbox, B-rad! And sorry for the delay.

The deets: Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. Yarn is Regia 4fadig (75% new wool, 25% polyamide), purchased at the Yarn Barn in Woodbridge, CT, in a nice tweedy green color.

They look like good hiking socks. Hopefully Stef and Brad will find some nice Baltimore area hikes to try out the socks!

I have also finished another pair of socks, which are my FAVORITE PAIR OF SOCKS (for me) EVER!

Baby pictures...awwww!

And all grown up!

(Bunion is actually larger than it appears...terrifying.)

(Rockette pose.)

Gusset fever!

These are Evening Stockings for a Young Lady, also from Knitting Vintage Socks. The yarn is Baby Ull Dalegarn from Dale of Norway (100% wool), purchased at Woolcott & Co. during our March trip to Boston. Color is "Blue Lt 5703" but let's just call it Tar Heel Blue. The socks are longer than usual and lovely and lacey and I only wish it were closer to fall so I could wear them more! Loved the pattern. The lace is a five row repeat which was easy to memorize.

It's been in the 80s and 90s this past week and very muggy here, but today it's rainy and in the 60s...perfect for wearing Evening Stockings for a Young Lady!

Stay tuned for information on my latest project, a blanket designed distract Graybaby from current projects in order to prevent yarn-related catastrophes like this one:


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