Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A smattering of photos

This is what it looks like when a two year old is watching TV and you happen to say "honey, can you look at me so i can take a picture?" and she replies "I'm very busy, mamma." without lifting her eyes from the screen. see that smug, superior look? makes me ponder life a bit.

this is what the same 2 year old looks like when let loose in a little igloo tent with a sticker book. whoopie!

this is a hideous purple sock i've been working on for a week. it was supposed to be my "plane project". hah. it's almost finished, now, though. it does not, however, match in shape, thickness, or color the single sock i made for myself LAST year.

this is a beautiful statue i found on a shelf in my entryway. My roommate found it in Burkina Faso. I love it because you don't often see a goddess nursing a toddler. My squid says it's us. I think it's a beautiful statue and i love having it in my house. think she'd notice if i smuggle it into my suitcase?

this was a very cool, pollution-tinged full moon from my balcony. of course the colors aren't fully captured so it looks like any old moon over any old street. but there you have it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Knitting Olympics

The Yarn Harlot has proposed the knitting olympics. i simply must participate.

the problem is this: the olympics are pretty much the 2 weeks before theFluff Factory auctions benefitting FIAU. I expected to spend those 2 weeks knitting my fingers raw. BUT since one of my projects is to design and knit a chenille swing top in time for the auctions, i figured i'll make that my olympic feat and knit my fingers to the bone to get the OTHER stuff done ahead of time. I must be crazy.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

News and Updates from Spaghetti Central

A few things.

Classes at Locks and Lads will be on MONDAYs, starting January 23, from 5-7pm. L&L is located at 123 E. 7th. I will have loads of delicious yarns provided by Little Turtle Knits and Irish Baby. Theresa and Sharon are offering these yarns to L&L knitting students at enormous discounts. Lucky ducks.

my "portable" knitting project, i.e., socks, that i intended to do on the plane never happened on the plane due to massive idiocy on the part of Alitalia which I won't go into because it will make me scream again. but rather than move on to the things i HAVE to do, i started on the socks anyway. not only that, i decided to experiment with sock construction, so it's a lot of ripping out and starting over. not only that, the yarn is some crappy wool/nylon blend in a hideous shade of purple. not only that, they're for me. photos to come.

The Squid is being an angel, mostly. Today is a hard day but that's partly my fault, i have to admit. she's napping now and maybe we'll both feel better later. *sigh*

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Reason 4,792,340 why Milan bugs me

People here hold their place in line at the grocery store with their baskets or carts. I don't mean "oops, i forgot something, i'm leaving my cart here and running over there for a sec." I mean they do half of their shopping, park the basket on the floor in a line and walk casually away to continue shopping, popping back to unload and scoot the basket up a bit. and if they're not there or not ready when it's their turn and you are behind them and even consider going ahead of them? they'll yell at you.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Back to work.

It's back to work. Universal Mama is back tonight. It's been a while and I'm out of practice scheduling my time. coupled with the fact that i'm completely unprepared to, oh, i don't know, say, go on a huge international flight tomorrow. Anyway. I made this little pixie. It's been a while since i've made one of these little babywearers and I forgot how much fun they can be.

Now off to pack something. or wash something. or maybe have another cup of coffee. or something.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

My beautiful mail

This is all yarn dyed by my friend Morwenna of Mosaic Moon. It's various types of organic merinos, organic shetland, organic portland, organic wool blends, organic bluefaced leicester, and other yarns from various breeds of humanely raised sheep. Morwenna's passion for finding healthy and happy sheep is impressive to me, and her dyeing is simply amazing. And don't even get me started on her generosity and gentle spirit.

yarn! yarn! yarn!

and this is the cord i braided with the lucet she sent.

even the demo yarn that came with it is lovely.


I volunteer for a group called FIAU. Federazione Internazionale di Appogio Umano. Or the International Federation for Human Support.

I also participate in a group of women who handcraft things, called the Fluff Factory. Twice a year the Fluff Factory holds a series of auctions and raises money for a selected charity.

This February the twain shall meet.

Fluff Factory supports FIAU. I'm so excited i could implode. Stay tuned for previews and loads of gushing.

In the meantime, look! a bear:

This crazy blend of blue, teal, and deep violet is the greatest combination of happy colors, perhaps ever. I love working with this yarn. Speaking of yarn. I got a HUGE load of yarn from Mosaic Moon today. all kinds of deliriously delightful handpainted organic wooly beauty.

I can't wait to knit it all up. all of it. The load of yarn so big the post office had to give me one of those plastic bin things to carry it all home. Photos, of course, forthcoming.

In the meantime, before i dig into the new, let's finish up the old. I made a pixie with some remnants of my Little Turtle Knits merino in "Midnight Ride." I like him. Generally I do different colors for the heads, but this time i just did a different stitch for the body. it was a fun little change.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

How is it possible that i forget EVERYTHING?

So that why don't we get drunk and knit thing? not gonna happen on January 18. Especially since about 10 minutes before I said "yeah, the 18th would be great" I got off the phone with my husband saying "Milan? the 10th through the 19th? sounds fine." I literally seem to retain nothing for more than 13 seconds. it's rather alarming.

So anyway. Classes start the week after the 18th. I looked up what it is but i forget.

On the upside, I did finish the little pixie that goes with the radiator pants. Just waiting to go into an envelope and off she goes.

and just 'cause i felt like it, i made a snake, too. I think I'm going to take this one to Locks 'n' Lads. looks rather laddish, I think.

And now, I retire. Today was the first back-to-school day post-holiday madness and it was tough getting up this morning. Tomorrow the Squid and I are girls on the town together. I think we may go to the Kidding Around and look at dollhouses. I'm trying to convince The Squid that she wants one.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Get lit. Learn to knit. Kid-friendly. Believe it or not.

I'll be teaching a beginner's knitting class at my friend Judy's kid-friendly hair salon (yes, you read that right) starting January 18. Locks 'n' Lads is located at 123 E. 7th Street between A and 1st. Class begins at 5 and finishes up at around 7pm. Wine and cheese will be available, and your kids can read books and run with scissors while you get lit and learn to knit. $10 buys you 2 hours of me and all the wine and cheese you can stuff in while knitting.

We'll be starting with the easy as pie dropped yarnover scarf pattern (link to the right) so bring yarn and needles 2-3 sizes bigger than usually recommended for that yarn. If you're yarn-free (gasp!) i'll have some for sale, provided by the fantabulous Little Turtle Knits. You've got to bring needles, though. Stop in to Downtown Yarns at Ave A and 3rd street on your way if you need to pick some up. And tell Rita that Marnie said Hi. Doesn't get you anything special, but it's nice to say hi to people every now and then.

Judy's kid Angus is sweet as pie and the only kid I know who shook hands jovially before he could walk. Judy and her husband Nick also host the exquisite Happy Hour With Storyteller (it was my idea to combine 2 for 1 drinks with entertainment for your kid, I do admit) at the Cake Shop on Ludlow between Stanton and Rivington on Mondays at 5.

So there you have it. Get loaded 2x a week with Judy and bring your kid. If you don't have a kid, you can come anyway and borrow one of ours.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Flounder and grilled cheese

I know all parents think their child is a brilliant genius. In my case, I happen to be right. My squid is especially inclined towards the arts. She's very good at drawing circles, and people (though they always have only one leg and verrrrrrry long arms). I love watching her total concentration. It seems to me what it must have been like to watch Pollock work. She gets really close, then steps back, then tilts her head, slashes another stroke of color, another head tilt...

It's interesting that although she uses her right hand for most of her artwork (aside from the occasional bold stroke with the left, her right hand is really the one that makes all the precise marks) she is a total pig eating right-handed. She can barely get the spoon in her mouth with her right hand. If she takes it in her left, however, she glides it right on in there with no spillage. I guess she's a left handed eater and a right handed artist.

Recently she's discovering that art has more than 2 dimensions. Cookie cutters and play dough are a huge thing around here right now. She's especially interested in embellishing her work.

I suggested that due to the two eyes on the same side of the head thing that perhaps this was a flounder. She looked at me like I was cracking a great joke and said "no, that's not a flounder! it's a fish!" So there you have it. She's only two and a half. She's pretty good, right?

And me? just in time for the last night of Hanukkah (meaning this did not make it in the mail on time) i present the felted kippah. I fear it's still huge. It'll have to travel to Oregon for me to know for sure, though. Matching legwarmers are in the works. I think i should have enough yarn to make another, unfelted kippah should this one turn into a fruit bowl. The yarn is organic shetland dyed by Morwenna.

And now that the kippah has vacated my sophisticated blocking system, these pants have taken up residence. My blocking system is quite specifically a unique New York Apartment kind of thing. First the item is washed and shaped to measure on my Costly But Worth Every Penny Aeron chair which is a perfect blocking board for a mere lots of hundreds of dollars.

The now shaped and partly dry item is then placed on the cookie cooling racks on top of the radiator. Note that cookie cutters are used for play dough and cooling racks for blocking knit items. Not a lot of baking going on around here. By the way, that divine yarn is Bluefaced Leicester from Nada's husband Brad.

I'm nearly finished (can't you tell?) with this kimono-style sweater for a yet-to-be-newborn. It's in a cushy little pseudo-boucle cotton from Henry's Attic called Monte Cristo. It is nothing like a deep fried grilled ham and cheese, however. This yarn was dyed by Theresa. Matching hat and pants to come.

I got myself a fancy new progress meter thing over there. Like it? Code comes from and some of additional icons are from Little Turtle Knits. I made the bear myself. not a lot of bear knitting progress meter icons to be found out there.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Blog!

Another year, another blog. My New Year's Resolution for 2006 is to not lose my blogs. I hereby resolve to not only not lose this blog, but to attempt in some small way to actually update it, as well. Ambitious, I know.

So. What does the New Year bring me? It brings me yarn.

I'm finishing a newborn kimono sweater in irritating cotton boucle. It's soft, it's pink, it's very newborn-friendly, but I'm just a lover of wool, I guess. I've got other fine projects on the needles, such as the legwarmers to match the kippah that might be too big even though it's been felted within an inch of its life. I also have 3 small bear carcasses waiting to be stuffed.

And a shiny new blog.

Happy New Year!

P.S. I wish I could list Manhattan as a Major Outlaying Island of the United States in my profile, but that wasn't an option.