Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Comforts of Home 

Tonight when I got home from work, I made myself a cup of tea and turned on my well-loved vinyl copy of Highway 61 Revisited. Cobra came home and we cuddled a bit on the couch and ate some soup for dinner. Ah yes, the comforts of a simple evening at home. I finally feel grounded and mentally together enough to put together a decent blog post (I'm just talking about knitting, you wouldn't think it would be so hard, would you?). A lot has happened in the past week and a half or so, so I'll discuss it in list form with the occasional visual accompaniment.

*I finished an Odessa hat. It took a bit more drama than it should have because my knitting mojo has escaped me, but I'm happy with the finished product. If you want to knit this, be sure to use a stitch marker.
Finished Odessa hat

See the top here

*As I mentioned in my last post, Suzanne and I made it up to Politics and Prose to see Michael give his Knitting with Balls presentation, complete with audience friendly body language. Many wonderful DC Snb folks were there. Michael talked about how the book came to be and his design process. Then we got to touch the samples, most of which were made from delicious yarns.
michael signs books

Here he is signing Suzanne's book.

After the event, we all went next door for a celebratory dinner at a new pizza place. My pizza was cold and greasy when it got to me, but I would be willing to give them another shot with a smaller group.

*Cobra had his once monthly Saturday off the next day, so we went to a new thrift store in northern VA, which was one of the largest I've ever been to. Good thing I have had practice in working a thrift store, or else I would have been totally overwhelmed. I got a good score there:
thrift scores

The squirrel picture was only 50 cents! Score! I got another cardigan that still had the tags on, and gave it to my mom as an early Hanukkah present. It was a way better deal than anything I could have gotten at Target.
If you're interested in checking out this store, email me for details (a lady can't give away all her secrets on her blog, ya know).

*I started socks with my Woolarina handspun. Actually, I started it no less than three times but it's cruising now. I loved Adrian's interpretation of EZ's Moccasin Socks, so I'm making my own. This is my first EZ project, and I think the beauty of the yarn will work well with the cleverness of the design.

handspun sock start

*On Sunday, Cobra and I took advantage of the warmish day to head over to Great Falls and hike around on the rocks a bit. We'd received a good amount of rain the previous week, so the river was swollen, brown, and swirling strongly over the rocks. Luckily, I know a hunk of a man who can save me if I fall on the rocks.*On Tuesday, I flew to Chicago to join my aunt and parents for some Thanksgiving-style festivities. Luckily, my godparents, who are British and now live in Israel, were also visiting. They'd never been to Chicago before and encouraged us to do some touristy activities that we've never done before. Like go to the top of the Sears Tower:

I'm crushing your building

I'm crushing your building head, ha! If you want some unobstructed views, look here.

*We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with plenty of veggie options (and desserts). During the rest of the weekend, we went to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, took many nice walks, patronized some local businesses, and ate some of the highest quality food I've ever had. The pace was slow, the conversation was lively and I had a wonderful time. My aunt, who has taken to spoiling me rotten, has requested a pair of socks for Hanukkah. Done and done.

*I returned home safe and sound on Saturday night. For our Sunday activity, Cobra and I strolled around the National Zoo and surrounding areas. Then, the big highlight of the day: we went to see Peaches (and her band Herms) at the 930 Club. This is actually my fifth (!!) time seeing her, and her live band made this her most rocking show to date. I also had fake blood spat on me, which is another indicating of a good show in my mind. You can see my crappy camera pic here.

That brings me to tonight, where I'm pretty tired from being out late at the show last night. I'm off to the couch for more cuddling and some knitting before bed. Hope you all made it through the Monday ok....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lagging 

I have a pretty silly reason for not posting in a bit. I, as I think we all do, want to show my projects in the best possible light. As it is now dark when I get home from work in the evenings, I haven't been taking pictures - and no one likes posts about knitting without pictures! I've been trying to get up a bit earlier in the mornings to take photos, but me and early are like oil and water. Cobra's no use either, he's usually still sleeping when I leave for work since his work schedule is more non-traditional.

I should have some news to report this weekend. Tonight, I'll be attending an event for Michael's book Knitting with Balls with Suzanne and some of the illustrious DC SnBers. If you're in the area, you should come on by.

I have some finished objects and knitting pathos to show as well.

As a final public service announcement, I'll be getting up early tomorrow (which is a big deal, see the earlier paragraph about me and early) to participate in the Help the Homeless Walkathon. I attended last year; it was a nice event, and a way to provide much needed funds to some great service agencies in the DC area. The big news this year is that Jewel will be there. Woo. You can register online or on-site starting at 7AM tomorrow if you're inclined to join us.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Was in Stitches at Stitches! 

My first trip to a Stitches Convention generally a success. Yes, I was sad that I missed the boat on registering for classes and I found the fluorescent-lit basement setting of the festival to be somewhat depressing. I questioned the wisdom of holding this convention about 10 miles from the location of one of the most well-known fiber festivals in the country and didn't feel as strong of an urge to spend, spend, spend. I had a lovely time, however, with many great knitters and bloggers, and got some special yarns to add to my collection.

I met up bright and early with my neighbor Suzanne, and we got a ride with Cobra up to Maryland to meet the lovely Lolly. She brought us over to Panera to meet up with some of the Columbia knitting group regulars. I enjoyed their company along with my bagel, tea and shared pecan roll. You can't go to a yarn fest without the proper fuel!

Suz, Lolly and I arrived at the Convention Center ready to roll!

stitches ladies

Inside, the space was large, cavernous and filled with an overwhelming number of booths. Luckily, we'd all done some research beforehand to find out some locations we definitely wanted to hit. My first stop: Blue Moon Fiber Arts. There, I was pleased to find a selection of STR and other yarns that didn't seem entirely picked over.

From there, we wandered the hall, looking for specific vendors and also going where tempting fibers lead us. Along the way, I spotted and chatted with other bloggers including Sarah (in her gorgeous new cabled sweater), Paula, Mama E, Saun and Stacey. I also made a point to go see my fellow DC Stitch n Bitcher Michael during his book signing. I picked up his book immediately when I saw it on sale in a local bookstore here and it's really a wonderful addition to any knitter's library. I'm lucky that I got him to sign my copy.

knitting with balls

One of the stranger aspects about Stitches is that there were some knitting "celebrities" there that I spotted and got all giddy about. I spoke with the president of Cascade yarns for a few minutes and also spotted Kaffe Fassett and Norah Gaughan. I acted like a stalker fan girl and didn't approach them.

At the end of the afternoon, with aching feet and hips and with minds in full yarn overload, Stacey, Lauren and I rounded out the evening with a delicious meal at One World Cafe in Baltimore. Having some quieter conversations was a nice antidote to the earlier overload.

Alright, enough of the description, what did I get already?

Stitches yarn haul

The yarn on the bottom was purchased because it was special and rare. Yes, I was able to score some Socks that Rock (finally)! The left is the mediumweight and the right is the cotton blend Sock Candy.

The upper yarns were purchased because they were unbeatable deals. On the left is a beautiful heathery, soft sport-ish weight wool that was only $7 for 475 yards!! On the right is a beautiful DK Merino/alpaca/silk blend. You can get all the yarn deets by clicking on the photo.

I was able to have some hang time with Lolly at her house, and before I left she was kind enough to gift me with a few items.

from lol

That's last year's Holiday VK (which I didn't have) a skein of Mama E's beautiful handpainted yarn. It may be a little hard to distinguish the colors, but it's a beautiful combo of black, teal and lavender. In looking at this hank further, I realized that they are my mom's colors (to the point where I told her on the phone that I had some yarn in colors that I thought were hers and she said "Are they black and teal?"), so I'll make her a scarf with this. The other yarns are still figuring out their fates.

I think after this haul, I need to put the brakes on for yarn buying this year. Don't you think it looks like I have enough?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why I'm Out of It This Week 

I'm posting even though I don't have pictures or other visual goodies to share right now. Turning the clock back really puts a dent in taking clear, natural light pictures.

Socktoberfest ended with me coming short in my overall goals. Unfortunately, this means that I did not finish my second arch-shaped stocking, although I am very close to turning the heel. I did, however, finish the first sock in the acid green pair for Cobra and I'm making progress in the second sock. Its realtive simplicity has been in particular calling to me this week. Why?

On Monday, I reported to the DC Courthouse for my first ever Jury Duty. I imagined I'd come, knit a bit and read for the day, then go home and resume my normal business. Lo and behold, by the end of the day I'd been placed on a jury of a case and was listening to opening arguments. Just like any juror, I can't speak about the case until it's finished. Even when it is, I don't know if I'll fins it appropriate to speak about on this forum (unless you have a burning curiosity). I personally would rather talk about how I'm burning to cast on for a sweater!

The surprising part about this experience is that is has been really draining to all of my mental and physical energy. This, coupled with the fact that I caught a touch of the bug that Cobra's been fighting for about 3 weeks, means that I'm antsy, anxious and starving when I get home in the evenings but don't feel motivated or have the attention to do much.

I don't even want to knit. That bad.

Hopefully, this will be over by the end of the week and I'll be ready to dive back into the world of fiber at the Stitches market on Saturday. It will be a welcome respite from my swirling mind.

Let me assure you as fully as I can, real life is not like Law and Order!