Sunday, April 30, 2006

an honest to goodness knitting post

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
These are some booties that I've been working on for about two weeks. They have a matching bonnet that I made from this pattern on Knitty over Easter weekend at my parents' house. Love the bonnet - not very photogenic, though.

The booties are a Debbie Bliss pattern from her Cashmerino Baby Book. These are destined for a June baby, however, so I made them from cotton. The most beautiful cotton in all the land: Millefili Fine from Filatura di Crosa. Look at that stitch definition, folks! It's lovely. I'm using size 2 bamboo straight needles.

I find that I use my straight bamboo needles for all my little projects. I couldn't imagine knitting these little guys on some circular Addis with the wire cord all over the place. It's so much more pleasant with the straight needles.

Ordinarily I would have knocked these babies out in one weekend. Why they are taking me two weeks to knit I attribute to two things.

First: I'm sufferring from SBS. Second Bootie Syndrome.

Second: I'm sufferring from Spring Fever. There's something in the air that is making me completely unable to focus. Usually, I'm a very monagamous knitter and now I have 5 projects going. I know that for some of you this is normal. You're even laughing at me. ("Five? Ha! That's nothing!") But this is very unusual behavior for me. I think the warm weather has me going all nutty. I can't commit. I'm a knitting adulterer!

Friday, April 28, 2006

happy friday

embroidered skirt
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I'm wearing this skirt today, so I thought I'd debut it on my blog. Remember this post? Well, it's all finished now. Honestly, it was one of the easiest garments I've ever sewn. I'm really out of practice sewing clothing, but this peice is very simple and beginner-friendly. It doesn't even have a zipper. I also kind of cheated by using really fancy fabric. That's also my new favorite t-shirt from American Apparel. It's supposed to be a dress but I wear it as a really long shirt. I have, like, five.
I think some more skirts are in order.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

weird items that i find in my building - part 3

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Who is boxing and why did they throw this away? It didn't stay in the hallway for very long - does this mean that one of my other neighbors took it, as often happens?

(I saw that guy on the L train platform again. The homeless guy who sings. This time he was *dancing* and singing Lonely Teardrops by Jackie Wilson. We stayed on the platform for the duration of the song with the doors open. I think the conductor is a fan. Of course he made my day,again.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

did'ya think i was lying?

mohair hoodie
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
All this talk of a mohair hoodie. Well, to get actual photographic evidence, myself and Master P have to be home at the same time. During the day. Here it is. Finally.

Mohair Hoodie

Made from: Jaeger Mohair Art in "cigar" (sadly discontinued)

Made with: size 8 24" Addi Turbos

Pattern from: Knitting on the Go by Kim Percival

Time to knit: One marathon viewing of the entire season of Firefly, one roundtrip ride on NJ Transit to my parents' house, various episodes of Lost, The Amazing Race and America's Next Top Model, one vewing of Regarding Henry.

This is my first truly wearable sweater. Even in the picture, it doesn't look handknit. (Well, maybe it does, but not in a bad way.) I am going to get a ton of wear out of this once the weather turns cold again. And I love Kim Percival's patterns. They're really easy to read and I followed this to a "T" and didn't have a single problem. Now I have to pack it away before I die from mohair suffocation.

Friday, April 21, 2006

waisting time

pom pom goodness
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
There is an element of my personality that becomes really attached to things like movies and books. Like, really personally committed. When I finish reading a book or watching a movie I carry it with me, in my head, for weeks.

As a child, I lived very much in my head. More there than in reality. I read more than I actually talked to people. I would WALK and read. My mother actually had to take my books away.

I was so much easier for me to live with the people in my books. I would also create elaborate scenarios in my head where I was smart and funny and successful in any situation. In real life, I couldn't order my own food at a restaurant because the thought of actual conversation with a waiter scared me so much I lost the ability to speak.

Of course I outgrew this, but not for a long, long, long time. I still have this uncanny ability to suspend reality (I mean, I cried while watching The Iron Giant.) and as a result, I feel, I get really attached to characters in books (or movies). After having finished a particularly involving book, I often don't read anything for a week or so. I can't. I'll read a magazine on the subway or knit, but I need time to process and let the story fade away a little before I can become engrossed in a new one.

It's no surprise, then, that I approach my knitting the same way. A particularly engrossing knitting project (the kind that you can't put down until it's finished - the kind that you will actually knit while WALKING) uses my energy like an intense movie does.

When it's finished, I can't work on a new project right away. I putter around and do some swatching and generally give myself time to process my finished project. That's where these pom poms came from. I made them because I literally couldn't make anything else. Aren't they luscious? I think they're going to be part of a kind of neck-warmer thing. I don't quite know.

(Today on my way to work, the L train stopped for a full 3 minutes at the 6th Avenue stop with the doors open. There was a man on the platform who, quite honestly, looked homeless playing a keyboard and singing Dock of the Bay. He was so good, that by the time he finished, EVERYONE on the train had looked up from their newspaper or US Weekly and was listening to him. Whenever I hear some random Otis Redding it makes my day. Thanks,man.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

about time

april curtains
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Remember this post about my 30lbs. of fabric? Back in, oh, February? We ran into a few problems with drilling into our cinder block wall. We tried a couple things and got some really great advice, but never followed up on it. Can you believe that? We're so lazy.

So, finally, I was home over the weekend and was complaining to my dad.

"Well apparently we need a carbide steel bit for the drill and our super gave us one, but it didn't work. So I guess we need to get a new one, but we haven't. So our curtains are on the floor."

Pretty sad, huh? Well, the very next day, Dad shows up with a carbide steel drill bit and some heavy duty wall anchors.

"This should be what you need."

Thanks, Dad. The curtains are finally up.

(I thought everyone might enjoy a view of The Needleworks. This is where the magic happens, folks.)

Friday, April 14, 2006

I was inspired by a few blogland folks to do this meme. I saw it here and there, and I thought, what the heck?

Go over to wikipedia and type in your birthdate minus the year. Then, list three interesting events, three people who were born and three people who died on that day. Let me tell you, it was *not* easy to narrow it down to THREE! So many cool things happened. And also, so many cool people who were born (many of them actors, revolutionaries or Nobel Prize winners - that's saying something for us Aquarians, huh?) Go and check out the full list.

1832 -Edouard Manet , French artist (d. 1883 )

1910 -Django Reinhardt , Belgian guitarist (d. 1953 )

1957 -Princess Caroline of Monaco

1803 -Arthur Guinness , Irish brewer (b. 1725 )

1989 -Salvador DalĂ­ , Catalan artist (b. 1904 )

2004 - Helmut Newton , German-born photographer (b. 1920 )

1533 -Anne Boleyn , mistress of Henry VIII of England , discovers herself pregnant.

1943 - Duke Ellington plays at New York City 's Carnegie Hall for the first time.

1973 -President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam .

Holidays and observances
National Pie day , created by the American Pie Council (I couldn't resist sharing this, too!)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

in the line of fire

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I used to live in Paris. I was there for about a year and I was young and romantic and broke most of the time.

In the time that I was there I witnessed countless marches or manifs. It's almost like a national passtime. Everyone (students, nurses, museum workers) would go and march in the street for almost any cause (better benefits, higher salaries, opposition to adding the words "hot dog" into the academie francaise).

One doesn't witness a rally everyday in the U.S., though. Not unless it's something really big - like the RNC in NYC.

One would then imagine that I was pretty shocked to see this sight on Monday when I schlepped all the way downtown to P & S Fabrics to buy a little something for this surprise.

They were rallying for immigration rights. To find out more, go here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

knitting news

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
This is the project that I'm not totally enamoured with. With which I am not totally enamoured. It is Fleece Artist Blueface Leicester 2/8 in color way Hercules. The pattern is something that's been floating around in blogland for a while - My So Called Scarf from Sheep in the City. I'm using size 13 addi turbos to knit the pattern big and loose.

I took this picture close up so that you can see the pattern. We'll have to see how the end result turns out. I think I cast on a few too many stitches. I'm trying to knit this exclusively so I can finish it quickly, but I hardly seem to make any progress on it. It's going on two weeks and I only have 12 inches. I've even started knitting on the subway, which I stopped because it was cutting into my reading time.

Anyway, I love the colors and I think it will be great when it's done, but it's not holding my attention enought for me to have any marathon knitting sessions like I usually do to get me through a project. However, my friend Kevin just let me borrow seaons 1 & 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer so maybe I'll have a marathon and bang out the so called scarf. I just want it done!

Monday, April 10, 2006

weird items that i find in my building - part 2

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Ok, so it's not actually *in* my building, but it's right outside my front door. Right next to the washer and Dryer-zilla are a couch and a table. It's as though someone's entire apartment got tossed out on the curb. But who has a washer and dryer, I'd like to know?

I actually saw this pair on my way home on Saturday night. The next morning the innocent looking dryer had morphed into Dryer-zilla. Scary.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

now get to work

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I had a really full weekend. My cousin was staying with me and we went out on Friday *and* Saturday. Now, I'm usually a stay at home and watch Tivo kind of girl, so this was all a lot of excitement for me.

I'm pretty tuckered out today, but I feel the need to be productive. I'm not especially enamoured with what I'm knitting right now, so I'm staying true to my previous post about sewing.

These are peices of a very cute skirt. The pattern for which was given to me by the fabulous Barbara Kerr. She's an amazing knitting teacher and all around incredible woman. She's just very encouraging and nurturing and generous with her time and knowledge. She's also one of those people that I have to call by both names all the time. Barbara Kerr.

So, I'm still just sewing straight lines, but I haven't figured out what my score from Purl Partchwork should be yet. Until I do, I will just sew straight lines on my cute little skirt.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


reusable bags
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
She did it to me again.
That girl at the "good" grocery store.
Why do I torture myself?

In the first bag she put the following:
1 loaf of bread
1 box of cereal
1 package of multigrain english muffins

"Not bad," I thought. "Maybe I'll get 3 bags."

In the second bag she put the following:
1 half dozen eggs
1 pint of cottage cheese
3 cans of tuna
1/2 pound of turkey
1 quart of yogurt
1 8 ounze container of hummus
1 jar of salsa
1 package of corn tortillas

Why? Why does anyone think this is right? Why? Why doesn't she realize that this just does not make any sense at all????!!!
And just to add insult to injury, she finished packing the second bag and lifted it up (as if to see how heavy it was) and dropped it with a thud on the conveyor belt. Thud. Second bag, my eye.

Master P's dad sent me this lovely package of reusable hemp bags to help me on my grocery crusade. I didn't use them on this trip, but I have used them. They're much better than plastic grocery bags (since I only get 2 at a time) to carry my lunch to work. Also, I used one today to carry my boots to the shoe repair guy and then, once I had dropped off my boots, they carried home my cute new jeans and the t-shirt from American Apparel that I bought today to wear with my mohair hoodie. (Hopefully some pictures to follow soon.)

Thanks Master P, Sr. Next time I'll use your (reusable) bags.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

brushing up

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I took a little trip over to this new store. It's a fabric/quilting store smack in the middle of Soho.

Let me tell you that being there made me want to really spend a lot more time sewing. To really work on my sewing skills. Lately, attempts at sewing anything other than a straight line have come out looking like this.

So I couldn't resist buying these little "fat quarters". They were just so cute, all wrapped up in little bits of string. But what will they become?

Monday, April 03, 2006

lovely day

Beer Garden
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Yesterday we took full advantage of the beautiful weather and spent almost all day outside!
I took the morning to finish my mohair hoodie (FO pics coming soon, I promise) and then Master P, myself and our friend Kevin went to a really sweet restaurant in Williamsburg for lunch. We sat on the patio under a canopy of grape vines and ate Italian food and drank white wine.
Then we headed up to the Beer Garden in Astoria. It's really just called The Beer Garden and it's such a fun place! There is a tremendous courtyard with rows and rows of long picnic tables where you can mingle with other beer garden-goers and drink pitchers of German beer.
It was just the perfect kick-start to spring. To see more photos of the fun times, go here.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

canned heat

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Have I told you about our place in the country? It's a run down little Hobbit Hole in Greenpoint, where we spent much of last summer. Master P and I loved it very much. It was the kind of place where you didn't have to lock the doors. It was dark and ill-equipped, but when the nights got cold you could build a fire in the living room.
The back yard was overgrown with vines and rose bushes, but there was a nice bonfire pit and a little charcoal barbecue where we cooked out almost once a week.
Ah, but the owners are leaving and that means we won't have access to it anymore either. The other day we had our very last night in the country. It was the first warm day of the year - just right for cooking out and enjoying the outdoors. And as the sun began to set and the cool set it, we packed up our provisions and trekked off to Greenpoint to build one last bonfire.