Thursday, August 30, 2007

Holy Math

Last night, while working on the Forest Canopy Shawl, I heard voices. No, not the usual Voices in my Head—but the voices of teachers who tried to teach me Math over the years.

Kindergarten: Sister Mary Michael the Avenging Archangel—“If you have 8 angels on your right shoulder and 6 devils on your left shoulder, how many sins have you committed?”

Second grade: Sister Mary Get Behind Me Satan—“If you go to confession and for your penance you say five Hail Marys, seven Our Fathers and a decade of the rosary, how much will your time of suffering in Purgatory be reduced?”

Fifth grade: Sister Mary Pray for the Unbaptized Babies in Limbo—“ If you put a quarter in the collection basket every week, how long will it take for the Bishop to heat the convent?”

Seventh grade, Sister Mary Knute Rockne—“If X = the Ten Commandments and Y= the Seven Deadly Sins, then X plus Y divided by the ten lepers equals _____?

Tenth grade, Sister Mary St. Peter at the Pearly Gates—“If two sinners are visited by the Holy Spirit, and one sinner repents 84 sins, then the other sinner repents 92 sins, at what point will their sins intersect?

If Sister Mary Habemus Papam (Fourth grade) had only told me that someday I’d be tinking 200 plus stitches on a lace shawl at 1:30 AM because of arithmetic errors I made, perhaps I would have learned how to count past the Trinity and maybe I would have paid more attention to basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

And contrary to what anyone might have heard, those words I was mumbling under my breath while tinking were actually prayers of praise.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This is Why Ohio

The Ohio birthday party was a huge success! We had


tasty grilled ribs

and guests who wore cute shoes.

We ate cake

and more cake!

We also had a tornado warning! As we arrived at my SIL's house, sirens were blasting. Being New Yorkers, hubster and I first thought of car alarms.

It became dark and windy outside. The guests began to eye the cellar door and a plan was being hatched on what food and drink to grab. But, it passed. No tornado--just a thunderstorm. Soon it was sunny and the tornado became just a good story to tell.

In the evening, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset and moon.

And to make the birthday even more special, the moonflowers bloomed for the first time.

My SIL has a doormat that reminded me of a knitting project I plan to start.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why Oh Why Ohio?

Why oh why oh why oh
Am I ever going to Ohio?

Big family weekend in Columbus coming up. The husbster's family are flying and driving in from all over the country to celebrate one of the sib's birthday.

There's nine siblings--so, it seems that it's always somebody's birthday. And when the family gathers--oh, boy! My in-laws are amazing, terrific, fun, smart people--but, there's just so darn many of them. It overwhelms me.

I cope by knitting. I can chit-chat, put in my two cents about how to grill hunks of meat, goochy-coo the new baby, hear the old stories, discuss the '08 election, and argue Yankees vs Red Sox all while knitting. I can also zone out when needed by appearing to concentrate very hard over a tricky section. Nobody needs to know how mindless travel knitting really is.

So, the feather and fan shawl will be coming along on the trip. It's a very peaceful, boring pattern--perfect for the gathering of the lively, chatty, oh-so-many-of-'em clan.

Since we won't have the time, no yarn shops will be visited. However, I made up for that today. My Birthday Twin
Margaret and I went to a new yarn store--Annie & Company.

WOW! Gorgeous yarns, a huge comfy space, chairs to sink into. And we discovered that we're Birthday Triplets! Nancy, who works there, also shares our birthday.

I bought Cat Bordhi's new book:

And it looks like I'm gearing up to begin the HoneyBee Stole. Size 5 Addi's lace needles also came home with me.

Check out Margaret's second blog for photos of her finished Bee Fields Shawl and the beginnings of her Honey Bee Stole. Geez, what an overachiever! Two blogs AND two lovely shawls!

Ohio Snit:
We have to fly there. And fly back. Me + flying = white knuckles

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Buttoned-up Tuesday

A chilly, rainy day here in New York City made brighter by meeting knitting buddy S. at Alice's Tea Cup

for coffee (yes, coffee) and scones.

Then a short walk in the rain to Tender Buttons. We kept walking and walking around this teeny tiny store that sells nothing but. . . uh. . . buttons. Floor to ceiling are little boxes of buttons. Buttons made of ivory, plastic, brass, leather, crystal, fabric, Bakelite. . . you get the idea. New buttons, vintage and antique buttons. Everyday shirt buttons and buttons that are one-of-a kind. This came home with me today:

Italian -- from the '60's.

A small sampling of my button stash:

Button stashes are so much easier to manage than yarn stashes!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crazy Knitting

Hello. These are the Voices in Mary's Head speaking. Mary can't come to the blog right now. She's having an hallucination.

Do you remember how she has the following on the needles?

The Forest Canopy Shawl only needs about 8 more rows. The feather and fan shawl is about half-finished.

And she's been blabbing about starting the Honeybee Stole

And Mary has forgotten about them, but we haven't

The Tabloid Socks

She has these plus other unblogged about UFOs and what does she go and do? She buys MORE yarn for another shawl.

She argued with us:
"Oh, it's an easy-peasy shawl. Idiot lace. One row of purl, one row of lace."
"It'll be fast. Big needles."
"We're going to a family thing next weekend. Wouldn't this shawl be pretty?"

We argued back:
"Your use of the phrase 'easy peasy' is annoying."
"You're a slow knitter. You waste knitting time by reading blogs, staring into space and cleaning out the kitty litter. AND big needles hurt your hands."
"The family event is a BBQ in Ohio. Hunks of grilled meat, and s'mores do not require the donning of a lace shawl."

She's delusional and clueless.
OH NO. . . . quick, somebody stop her! She's hovering over the swift with the yarn!

Monday, August 13, 2007

In the Honey

Looky look what came in the mail today

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Oregon Red Clover Honey laceweight.

I couldn't keep my hands off it!

I have a few things to finish and work on before I begin the Honeybee Stole. But the Honey will be waiting patiently.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Jumping into the Honey

My Mom once asked the typical Mom question, "If everybody were jumping off a building, would you? " My answer, "I'd have a parachute and then, sure, probably I'd jump."

That answer describes my current knitting obsession.

Since I first saw the triangular Bee Fields shawl, I've adored Anne Hanson's design. But, I wasn't crazy about the butt-emphasizing, row-increasing shape.

Whew, close one! Nearly jumped.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Anne tells us that a Bee Fields rectangular stole is being test-knit and that a pattern would be forthcoming.

I start creeping towards the edge.

Then Cara of January One starts knitting Bee Fields in the most gorgeous honey shade -- Oregon Red Clover Honey from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

This is when I impulsively placed a yarn order.

But I backed off again and cancelled it.

For days, I mulled and thought. And thought and mulled. I simply couldn't get the pattern or yarn out of my head.

Last week, I jumped.

My Evil Enabling Birthday Twin, Margaret is knitting the Bee Fields triangle and then she went and ordered the Oregon Red Clover Honey to knit the stole! When she pictured the yarn in all its red-golden honey-ness, I knew that I couldn't resist for another minute.

AND, at the same time, Anne announced that the Honeybee Stole pattern would soon be available.

My parachute? I joined the Bee Fields KAL.

I'm somewhat nervous about this because, lace and I have not had a happy history. But, love of pattern and yarn will conquer the fears.

I was hoping the yarn would be here when I returned from Washington, DC--but, it wasn't. However, I bought the pattern and will be spending this weekend studying it.

TechKnitter had an entry on June 13th about creating a chart of a chart for lace knitting. This I'll be studying also.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fried in DC

My plan for today in Capital City, USA was to stroll over to the Corcoran Gallery to see the Annie Leibovitz show. Yeah, the one I was too lazy to see in Brooklyn.

It's about a hundred eighty zillion degrees out there today. The Gallery is only three long blocks away. On the way there, I trudged past

Get to the Corcoran Gallery. Sweaty, red-faced. Have to check my bottle of water. Find out that, d'uh, I'd misread the sign. Leibovitz's show will be there in the fall. OK, my brain is fried. I didn't connect that October 2007 hadn't happened yet.

However, I enjoyed these pussycats outside the Corcoran

And the exhibit they did have was interesting. Impressionism, Realism, Modernism: Works on Paper from the American Collection. American art: etchings, drawings, lithographs from 1880 to 1950ish. Among the artists: Edward Hopper, Isabel Bishop, Childe Hassam, John Sloan. Many scenes from NYC--Coney Island, Washington Square.

Then I had to leave. Took a cab back to the hotel. Worth every penny.

My afternoon plans include:

While here in DC, I not only bought some souvenir yarn but, looky look at this beautiful necklace:

Yes, Margaret, this is my "from me to me" gift for our mutual special day.

Can't wait to get back to NYC because I hear that something's abuzz.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bethesda Deliciousness

What is more tasty on a hot, hot, hot summer day than a mint chip ice cream cone from here

unless it's going to a yarn store

that has many flavors of yummy yarn

and getting four flavorsome scoops of

and one scrumptious scoop of

Many thanks to Andrea and Dietrich of Knit and Stitch = Bliss in Bethesda, MD for making me feel so very welcome in the store and for pointing me in the direction of Gifford's Ice Cream and Candy.

Knit and Stitch is easy to get to on the Metro. (I nearly passed out when I saw the escalator at the Bethesda stop--but, thankfully, there's an elevator.)

The store is comfortable with lovely yarns and Andrea and Dietrich are two of the nicest and helpful salespeople I've ever met. I didn't think I'd want to buy yarn when it's 98 degrees out, but. . .

The tasty bits of "souvenir yarn" purchased are:
Shi Bui Knits sock yarn. The color is Wasabi.
And I couldn't resist Art Yarns Beaded Silk Rhapsody in silver.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

DC Diversions

You'd think I was going to Washington DC for four months rather than four days

This is just some of the stuff I'll be carrying on the train to amuse myself.
Forest Canopy Shawl, the Vacation Feather and Fan Shawl, the Tabloid Socks, a few mysteries, some snacks.

Please note the purple post-it notes in the tour book--those are directions to various yarn stores.

Thank you, everybody, for all your suggestions!

Computer is coming with me--so, I hope to be blogging from Capital City, USA.

See ya!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

DC Decisions

No, not "Who's it gonna be in 2008?" decisions

Much more interesting stuff--on-the-road knitting activities!

Next week, I'll be going to Washington DC for a few days to enjoy the heat and humidity. Taking the train there and back. Staying in a hotel. Hanging out with friends in the evenings. Doing nothing during the (hot and humid) days.

Will I do the sights? I doubt it. Been there, done that.

Besides, geez, I live in NYC. I HATE getting out and about *here* in the summer. Too hot and too crowded with folks from Oshkosh who block the sidewalks. I love being holed up in my dark, cool cave of an apartment when the people from Peoria are trooping around town with their cameras and fanny packs. ***

Why would it be anything different in Washington?
Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90s. Lots of tourists. Plenty of humidity.

So, now it's decision time.

Yarn stores to visit? Any daytime knitting groups?
Anyone have any suggestions? They have to be accessible by Metro or (better yet) cab. I don't mind traveling to the suburbs.

What knitting to bring?
Forest Canopy Shawl--maybe.
Victorian Lace Shawl--might be good for train knitting.
Tabloid Socks--would really like to finish them
Something new? Hmmmmmm. . . . . Maybe some cotton socks?

Is there any can't-be-missed sight that I should put on the fanny pack for?

(***Love ya, tourists! I really, really do.)