Category Archives: crafts

Crafting

There have been many projects going on in the month of December. None of any real significant consequence, but I’m happy with them. Here are two that I’m working on now.

I started this blanket in early September on a whim and vowed to finish it in 2010. Technically it’s not finished, but I am done with the knitting, so I say it counts. It will look nicer once it’s blocked, and I’ll share again.

I added this drop stitch scarf to my list of projects to start during the summer when it was a bit more fashionable. I finally started it about a week ago. This one will also need some serious blocking when it’s done.

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Ho Ho Yo’ mama.

You know you have created the ultimate holiday playlist when the first song that comes on is “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley. I know it’s arrogant of me to say so, but I honestly think that people who don’t appreciate my taste in music (and my interpretation of holiday songs) are crazy. Everyone should blare my playlist as loud as possible as often as possible AND LOVE IT.

Maybe it has something to do with denial over the utter lack of holiday cheer in my cold, black heart these days, but I have been trying to play up the Santa bit lately. I’ve created a holiday songlist that includes Lady GaGa’s “Poker Face” and pulled out glitter and glue to make holiday cards. I even plugged in the piano for the first time this year so I could try to remember how to play B-flat-maj7 in “Silent Night.” I’m knitting like mad and planning my trip to the post office to pick out this year’s letter to Santa to answer.

It’d all make me puke if I actually believed it was making me happier. I don’t want to accept that I’m unhappy. Again. Better to live in peppermint bliss and gingerbread-scented ignorance.

For brief, hazy moments, I even find myself thinking it’s actually working.


The post where I bore you with my knitting projects.

I totally want to tell you about that time we went tubing down the Esopus (you know, last week), but I think I know better than to post something good here on a Friday night. You people all go and do things Friday night and then get busy over the weekend and by the time Monday comes around, you’re all frazzled from your busy weekend and the shock of having to get back to work and suddenly my cool story isn’t that interesting any more. Look for it on Tuesday. If I still have time to write it by then.

For tonight, I’ll share with you some knitting projects I recently completed. I’ve become what can only be described as obsessed with knitting. I’ll admit that my vacation in the wilderness with no time for knitting did slow me down a bit, but I assure you that my plans after writing this post most definitely include picking up a set of double pointed needles.

Let’s see… I think I already mentioned my first pair of socks.


They were fun to make, and I got a LOT of unsolicited commentary on them from people who saw me knitting them. One woman sitting next to me on the subway couldn’t believe I was knitting with such tiny needles. One guy on an airplane thought that hand-knitted socks were just the COOLEST thing he had ever seen. Most people were just amazed at how small the stitching was. Mostly I worried about whether these things would fit on my feet. And they do. Mostly. If I never wash them (the socks, not my feet).

I made a phone sock for my friend Kathy.


This is something I designed myself, and I surprised myself by actually liking it! There is lots of cabling in it (obviously), and it was a bit annoying using that cable needle so much, but I finished the knitting of it in an afternoon and still had time for other knitting in the same day. I think what makes this one nice, though, is the lining on the inside. I had this really cute pink flowery fabric that was just dying to be made into a phone sock, and it’s such a pleasant surprise to peek inside and see it there with the green knitting on the outside. I wish I had more of that fabric to make another one, but alas, I will have to just find something else to love.

For Siggi’s birthday and going away dinner, I wanted to make something extra-special, so I made her this (if I say so myself) adorable owl sweater.


This sweater was incredibly quick and fun to knit, and when those owls started knitting up, I couldn’t help but smile. The worst part was sewing all those little buttons on for eyes, but all in all it came out nice! Unfortunately I guessed on the measurements and it didn’t fit Siggi (it just about fits me), so I am going to have to make another one. Alas! Another fun knitting project on my agenda!

Since I had anticipated the sweater possibly not fitting, I wanted to make something else for Siggi to actually be able to take with her to Oregon. So I made this scarf.


I used a simple entrelac pattern and this one knitted up in about a week. That’s with me knitting in every spare moment, including once or twice on the toilet. OK, maybe not on the toilet. But I was definitely knitting everywhere and all the time to get it done in time. I really like the yarn. The colors are really pretty. I’m making another one in red and purple.

I also made an emergency hat and bootie set for a colleague who was having a baby, but because I had to finish them up in about a day, I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo of them to save for posterity. It’s really kind of a shame, because they were absolutely adorable. Oh well.

Right now I’m making a baby sweater for a little one-year-old girl, but haven’t quite decided yet who to give it to. I would like to take a picture for you, but my camera battery is completely dead. (8/14/10: Updated to add the photo):
I know a few little girl babies and at least one or two potential little girl babies, but to be honest, I kind of like this one a lot too, so I may keep it for myself on the off chance I have a little girl myself someday. I also want to finish that red and purple scarf and get that second owl sweater done and then I have some great yarn that a certain best friend got for me that is just aching to be knit up into something special. I guess I could start thinking about Christmas presents, but dude. Christmas in August? Just how productive can one knitter be? Sheesh.


Stuff. And Things.

I haven’t been writing much due to a combination of the following (taking my lead from Neilochka’s tweets):

Laziness: 36%
Being too busy: 7%
Having nothing interesting to say: 42%
Withholding secrets from the internet: 15%

But the truth is, there have been some items of interest to write about lately. For instance, on Tuesday night, I went to the theater. And you know that when you say that, you’re supposed to say it all airy and breezy and haughty-like, pronouncing every letter as its own syllable – I was at the theahhtahh. Yes, the internet is wonderful for this kind of descriptive jewel of a moment.

Anyway, my aunt, uncle, and cousin came to meet us to see Chicago, which was a lot of fun! I can’t believe it took me this long to go see it, but I’m glad I did. The night was perfect, honestly, despite the fact that it poured like the dickens the whole night, and the restaurant where we were supposed to go to dinner had been completely gutted while I wasn’t looking. I guess I’ll have to find somewhere else to dance on the table with my tambourine in hand while I’m eating my spaghetti and meatballs. Sigh. It’s the end of an era.

But, yes, it was a fun night.

Other things? I have been knitting like crazy. I’ve been a bit obsessed with some things going on in my life and have been in desperate need of a portable distraction. Knitting seems to be just the trick. So I’ve got three incredibly cool projects started. I can only tell you about two of them, though.

#1, my socks. The first sock is finished, and I tried it on, and it fits, and I like it! I’ve also started sock 2, and at this rate I should have a pair by the time it gets cold again next winter.

#2, an entrelac scarf. I have never done entrelac before, but I have recently decided to knit fearlessly, and it is paying off! This is a fun one to work with, partly because I love the colors and the texture of the yarn, but also because the pattern is a) easy, and b) slightly challenging. Meaning, I have to concentrate, but it doesn’t make my head hurt. It’s perfect work for someone who is avoiding thinking about something ridiculous.

And, that’s about it. For now, anyway. The good news is, life is good. And it is.


Update

Beyond my computer situation, things are going pretty well these days. Last Friday I had the last of my wisdom teeth removed and today the swelling seems finally to have subsided. I am still painfully aware of the six stitches still in my gums, and feel something like a bruise on my jaw, but at least it is getting better. I went for a 3-mile run this evening, despite the throbbing in my mouth, and who knew? Running is apparently soothing for jaw pain. The throbbing has stopped and I haven’t even taken any ibuprofen in hours. Go figure.

I have been trying to stay creative in order to balance out the very dry nature of my job, and to that end, I finally ordered prints of my photos from Africa that I took in January 2006. My goal is to put them into an album. So far I’ve got the cover completed, and I’m very happy with it. Just 50 pages, 115 photos, and two weeks of journal entries to go. (I think we’ve established that I don’t really do small projects here, right?)

I also bought a wedding album, so I have been furiously uploading wedding photos to Flickr. I’m averaging about 100-150 photos a day, and once they’re all there, I’ll start sorting through them, tagging them, and getting ready to choose the ones to put into the album. I’m also thinking a short video of wedding photos would be in order, and now that I’ve got some software to help me with that, it seems suddenly doable.

The project work is slow-going but rewarding. While all that is going on, I’m also in major spring cleaning mode, and using my weekends to ravage the apartment. Nothing is safe. I’m sorting piles of things to donate, things to throw away, and things to keep, and the plan is to make the place a bit more of a permanent home rather than the transitory place to hole up until the next place. The reality is, we are not going to have the money to buy a house for at least another 5-6 years, so we might as well hunker down and make this place as cozy as possible.

And, now that I have a computer monitor that is bigger than my whole entire body, I am going to need to devise an office area that is far more functional than this puny little desk I’m using now.

Don’t tell Billy, but I’m painting the walls of my office area purple. Shhh… I haven’t even told him yet that I’m claiming half of the living room as my office, either.


In the Christmas Spirit.

Today was a day I was counting down to for a long, long time, and it’s finally over. I have to say that it was a surprisingly good day. A really satisfying day. All the work I’ve been doing over the past few months really paid off and came together in a really fun event.

In other words, the Diwali event (among others) was a total success! People really enjoyed the henna tattoo artist that I hired, and wearing the bindis that I picked out, and tasting all the Diwali sweets on the table. The people on our team did a fantastic job making the space look and sound festive. We had a crowd at our table for the entire duration of the event. I had so much fun taking photos, getting my hand henna-ed, and mingling with “guests.” I almost didn’t even mind staying until 6:45 to get all my work done.

One of the other teams, which was celebrating various winter traditions in Mexico, put on a small play called a Pastorela, and that was the other highlight of the day. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a bunch of lawyers dressed up for a Mexican nativity play set in New York City. I think the best part was when the shepherds got lost in Times Square, looking for the baby Jesus, and the tourists blew them off by telling them they didn’t have any spare change.

I took tons of photos on the day, and one of these days maybe I’ll even get around to downloading them from my camera. I still have a few things on my list to cross off before Christmas, but they are all fun things – writing Christmas cards, baking Christmas cookies, wrapping gifts… But that also means that I still don’t have time for culling and retouching photos.

Trust me when I say: some of these photos are worth the wait. At least, they are for me. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about, anyway?


An Obstacle-Induced Interlude.

I have been spending every spare minute over the last few weeks (which as we know isn’t all that many) retouching photos for a super-secret project and it appears that today I have not only overloaded myself, I have also managed to overload my computer. Today, for the first time ever in my life, I ran out of space on my hard drive. I figure I am now initiated into a whole new world of gerkdom.

It’s a good thing I bought that 500G external hard drive a while back.