Thursday, March 30, 2006

mail call

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Look what came in the mail! My very own "Needleworks, Inc." rubber stamp. Isn't it cool? Of course, it's upside down in the picture so you can't really tell what it says. I ordered it from this really fantastic website.

The cards are from some random art supply store, but they're so beautiful! They have this raw edge and they're buttery smooth and thick. Can something be "as thick as butter"?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

bag lady

cascade bag
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
There's this girl at the grocery store who is hell bent on driving me crazy. She has no idea whatsoever of how to bag groceries. I could have two cans tuna, a gallon of milk, half dozen apples and a loaf of bread and she'll put everything in one bag except the bread. Come ON. How am I supposed to carry that home?

Today I asked her if I could have two bags and she looked at me like I had 5 heads and was speaking Finnish. I had about 15 items and I watched her, with clenched teeth, as she proceeded to stuff all but one package of chicken cutlets and my multigrain english muffins in to one bag. "Can I have two bags?"

She paused with her hand hovering over the chicken cutlets. "I'm putting these in their own bag."

"No, I mean, you're putting all the heavy stuff in one bag."

Blank stare.

"I have to carry it home and all the heavy stuff is one bag." I couldn't think of any other way to say it. The woman behind me with two half gallons of orange juice looked at me sympathetically.

The girl continued to act as if I had 5 heads until I was so embarrassed I finally stopped asking. Then, while I re-bagged my own groceries, the orange juice lady asked for two separate bags for her oj!

I'm not crazy. I just want my of groceries to be evenly weighted. For those of us who have to walk to and from the grocery store this is a really big issue. Well, it is for me. Even more so for me because I have to walk extra far to go to the good grocery store where I can buy multigrain english muffins! If all the canned goods are in one bag, then you can't walk more than one block before your hand starts to fall off and you're shuffling all lopsided. Sheesh!

What does all that have to do with the felted intarsia handbag in the most recent Interweave Knits? Nothing. I will be knitting it. I will be using the lovely shades of Cascade 220 that are pictured here. What I will not be doing is going to the good grocery store again anytime soon. If that means going without multigrain english muffins then so be it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

monday is the new sunday

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
For those of you who don't know my schedule over here at The Works, I work Tuesday through Saturday. That means Saturday is my Friday and Monday is my Sunday. Follow?

Anyway, how better to start off your Sunday (Monday) than with a yummy cupcake? No. It really is a cupcake. Whatever.

What it is: Knitted Cupcake from One Skein by Leigh Radford

What it's made of: Some salvaged Karabella Aurora 8 in tan and Adrienne Vittadini Samantha in turquoise.

How long it took to knit: Aprox. one episode each of Lost and ER on my Tivo.

(To everyone out there in Blogland, I recently added a counter to my blog, but I hate that there's an advertisement attached. Can any recommend how to find one without a link to some ridiculous online university?)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

i really do knit

2 sleeves
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Here are the sleeves of my mohair hoodie. I've hesitated to post pictures of my mohair hoodie because taking pictures of mohair is ridiculous.

I've taken a page from Wendy at Knit and Tonic and am knitting both sleeves at the same time on one needle. It's awsome. I love it. I will never knit sleeves one at a time ever again. Ever.

After the sleeves are complete all I have to do is seam up the sweater, cast on stitches for the hood and I am d.o.n.e. I figue I may have a sweater by tomorrow if I can get some major knitting accomplished during The Sopranos and Big Love.

Now if I could learn to knit two socks at the same time on one needle my life would be complete.

Friday, March 24, 2006

in praise of slowness

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I was recently able to raid this too good to be true stash of vintage knitting patterns. If you know me even a little bit, you know how I love all things vintage - dresses, shoes, bags - especially from the 40's and 50's. I mean, just look at the Grace Kelly look alike in that picture. She's so amazing. And that's a hairpin lace shawl she's wearing. Beautiful. I had to keep a few choice pieces

Also in this musty bag of old patterns were the owner's personal notes. There were several scraps of paper with knitting patterns copied out on them. They are well worn and well loved. I couldn't resist holding on to these as well. They were so intriguing. I wondered about the woman who knitted these patterns.

The patterns themselves are incredible. Nothing is knit on anything larger than a size 4 needle. They're meticulous and intricate and designed to imitate the fashion of the day. (Make you're very own glamorous wrap for an evening in the big city!)

By my standards, a 4 is tiny. I try to never knit on anything smaller than a 6. I just don't have the patience. And a lot of people feel this way. At the knitting store where I work, I hear the same thing every day. "I want fast!" "I want easy!" "I don't want to have to think about it!"

I've given so many interviews where I attribute the trend of knitting to a need for people to slow down and relax. Part of a general need for people to "nest". Returning to activities that comfort them, that remind them of their grandmothers or mothers. But I guess if I think about my daily interaction with the general knitting public, this is sort of contradictory.

Looking at these vintage patterns I know I would never knit them. I feel a little guilty. Like I too am part of the Easier! Faster! Culture. I often praised myself for trying to live more simply. To only buy produce that's in season and to make big slow-cooking Sunday dinners. I often take the long way around and choose to walk instead of get on the subway. But the truth is, when it comes to knitting, I want that instant gratification. How can you demand instant gratification from something like knitting?

Have I been fooling myself? Have I been living a lie? Would I be happier or less so if I tried to knit some of these sweaters on a size 1 needle? How do I reconcile my vintage self with my modern self? Is it even possible?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

cocktail hour

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
That's fruit cocktail. Somehow my baba has a way of honing in on those things that you love, even though you're not supposed to. Like fruit cockatil. As I watched at my brother drinking the syrup from the bottom of his bowl and I can remember being about 8 years old and eating fruit cocktail out of a paper cup in the school cafeteria. I loved the maraschino cherries the best. He's 18 years old, mind you, and shouldn't be drinking anything out of a bowl, but the fruit cocktail makes us all feel like kids.

Sometime back we started the ritual of meeting at my baba's house every Sunday morning. It was a while ago, before I moved permanently to the city. My mother has two siblings and they both have children. There are 12 of us in all and we all make it to her house on Sunday in some combination. Sometimes it's just my parents. Sometimes it's all the siblings. Sometimes it's just a few grandchildren.

This Sunday was special because so many of us were home who usually aren't. Baba made blintzes and fruit cocktail. We sat around her table and I remembered being 8 years old - eating fruit cocktail and whispering secrets in my cousin's ear - warm and happy in my baba's kitchen.

Friday, March 17, 2006

le clapotis, c'est fini!

aurora clapotis
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I figured I better post some knitting so you all would know what I'm up to over here at The Works.

This is my finished Clapotis. I finished it while Master P was away. It took a little over 5 balls of Noro Aurora. I knit it on size 5 Susan Bates Silverados, which drove me batty.

I had enough yarn left over to make a pair of sweet little wrist warmers which I wore to an interview yesterday where I had to look "stylish". I'm not ready to post about it yet, but if anyone wants to guess what the interview was for, there may be a prize in it for you. And it doesn't count if I already told you about it. No fair cheating.

I'm off to NJ this weekend to see my cousin who just got home from Iraq. She's a lawyer in the Navy and one of the most courageous people I know. She makes me feel as though I ought to do something worthwhile with my life.

You know, I just picked up a copy of Jane Magazine because my friend, Carrie, was featured in this article about 30 women under 30. It was really inspiring and I'd like to include my cousin in that group because she's out there inciting change in the world. I think she's amazing.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


surprise packages
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Is there anything I love more than making up packages? I love boxes and paper and tags and labels and brightly colored tissue. I love Sharpies.

Do I love anything more? I do love to knit. I do love to bake. I love to shop in thrift stores. I love cleaning my stove. These simple actions satisfy some secret part of my psyche. They're straightforward and when I am done I can step back, cross my arms and say, "Alright!"

What could make me happier? Cutting pie. I love to cut pie. Into eighths. Because it's hard to cut a pie evenly into sixths. But cutting a pie into eighths is deeply rewarding.

Nope. Nothing else makes me happier than making up a pretty package. Except cutting pie.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I hate posting without pictures. I really hate it. My mom always says not to use the word "hate", but I think sometimes it's appropriate.

It's now one week with no computer. Master P spirited it off to California where he's using it to write The Most Brilliant Screenplay Ever. I'm stuck firing off surreptitious posts from work after hours.

Here's what I have to offer since Master P has been away:

- One finished Clapotis in Noro Aurora. Colorway #4. Photo to follow.

- Front of Mohair Hoodie in Jaeger Mohair Art. Chocolate Brown. (I bought a bag of this before they discontinued the yarn. It's been my albatross for a year.)

- My opinion on the short-lived series Firefly by the brilliant Joss Whedon, which I watched in one sitting while knitting the front on my mohair hoodie. I'm late to the party on this one, my friends. Everyone else has already seen it, I know. I really enjoyed it, but thought it fell a little flat in some ways. (Like the weird way everyone curses in Weird Futuristic Chinese.) It all seems a little forced. The production value is a little shoddy. Don't get me wrong. I love it. I love Joss. But I guess I compare it to Buffy, to which there is no comparison. Make sense much? Geez.

- My opinion on Top Chef on Bravo. What a load of crap!

- My opinion on The Machinist. What a crappy ending! Did anyone else feel this way? Like some horrible M. Night Shyamalan rip off. Blech.

- My big plans for this weekend: baking, cooking, hanging pictures, not sitting on the couch for 14 hours watching Firefly.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Must. Post. Something.

I feel like I need to post, but I don't have any pictures or access to my computer, so I'm doing this from work, after hours.

I'm plodding away at my knitting. I have a multitude of projects getting all backed up in my head, but I feel the need to finish the clapotis I'm working on. I'm so close. I just can't knit fast enough.

I've made a decision to be a happier person. This means leaving my current job. I've talked to my boss, who is also my friend, about this and she's brought up a lot of valid points. Like, what do I want to do?

If only I had an answer. Any ideas? Anyone?