Wednesday, January 30, 2008

God don't like ugly

I don't get to watch a lot of TV. I prefer watching a movie and I almost always knit through it. I do watch Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report and the occasional network news performances but for hard news, I prefer to get serious analysis from the internets. There is one tiny exception to all of this, I watch Larry David when I want to laugh out loud.

Well, last Friday night, my boys didn't have any scheduled basketball so what did they want to do with all of their spare time? Go see some basketball. I managed to get last minute, cheap Knick tickets (yes, they do suck) and I grabbed my knitting bag and we rushed for the 6:50 to New York City.

It was on the trip home, that I got some excitement. When former New Yorkers are sequestered too long in sterile suburbia, we tend to marvel at the pageantry of strangers. So when this lady grabs a seat across from us with this little chihuahua tucked in a bag, I perked up and got ready for the show. As she fussed over the dog getting him comfortable, I noticed that she and the dog had matching knitwear! My children are always eyeing me when we are in public. They like to get some indicator before they think I'm going to embarrass them. My sons saw me looking at the lady and noticed the knitted garments too, gave me the signal - "pleeeeze don't say anything to that lady about her and her dog's scarf."

"I'm not going to say anything but can I at least admire it?"

Then the lady pulled out a book on Freida Kahlo. I just thought the whole thing was so cool so I started to take pictures. My children, who only lived in New York for a couple of years, had the nerve to tell me that I was being rude and that everybody knows that you don't take pictures of strangers without their permission. I told him that those rules don't apply in New York. Wink, wink.

They begged me to put the camera down. I obeyed only because at that moment I remembered that Larry David episode, Rat Dog and I started to laugh out loud!

The boys knew exactly what I was laughing at as if they dreaded the moment when I would see the coincidence beyond the knitting and told me to be quiet. I told them that as a former New Yorker, I knew personally that people can be anything they wanted, act anyway they wanted and certainly laugh at anything they wanted without the fear of drawing attention to oneself. So there.

They were rescued by the conductor who called our stop and the boys bolted for the doors. I hurried after them and LEFT MY CAMERA ON THE SEAT!!! Fortunately, a man ran off the train with it and kindly handed it to me. I stood there in shock, the end of my photographic life flashing before me.

That's when my son, not missing a beat, said, "tsk tsk, I guess God don't like ugly."

Where do children get the nerve?? Anyhooo, how can you not take pictures of that face!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Uneasy EZ mittens

I'm not one for fads. I am very impressionable though when it comes to knitting - is that the same thing? Last week I got together with fellow blogger Beate and her friend Erin. We sat in Beate's lovely kitchen and drank delicious pressed coffee and ate homemade cookies while we knitted and chatted about knitting projects as if we were planning dinner (projects that were marinating) or what to do about misbehaving children (projects given a time out).

I realized that the 3 of us were knitting a bunch of internet popular knits: Dashing fingerless mitts; Grumperina's Jaywalker socks; Knitty's Colorimetry headband and Jared's Elizabeth Zimmerman's Mitered Mittens from EZ's Knitter's Almanac.

Beate's friend was knitting up a pair of Dashing using a shockingly scrumptious Bernat yarn (65% acrylic, 30% nylon and a mere 5% cashmere but what the hey?). It really did feel like true cashmere so the next day I bought 2 skeins.

This is my version of Dashing, demented isn't it? I don't know how I did those crooked cables but I tried to divert attention away from them with the cutesy bow.

That's Beate modeling one of her lovely shawls and the mitts that got my attention. For the next two basketball games I tried making my own version but instead of using Silk Garden as Beate did, I decided on Kureyon. I've got a bunch of skeins to burn since I've decided not to knit that other internet fad - the Lizard Ridge afghan.

Ok, so when I got home, I dug out my Knitter's Almanac and browsed through Jared's blog to see if he translated oracle Zimmerman's pattern into something spazzes such as myself could follow. Nope. His is equally vague. So I say to myself, "self, you are a self respecting knitter, figure it out!"

My thumbs fit fine but they look oh, so wonky! Onto the superfriends site, Ravelry. There's bound to be some instructions that are not pitifully "pithy". I found that Grace, had some ideas and she even emailed me to help but I'm sorry to say that my results looked nothing like her lovely ones.

I decided to plunge forward and do my thumbs the EZ way. I almost wanted to close my eyes before I snipped -

EZ says to cut into the finished mitten just where you want the thumb to be. Yites!

Then pick up the loose stitches...

So far so good...

Not bad, right?

EASY afterall!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Politics, knitting and banking - oh my!

During this campaign season, I'm getting a lot of knitting done. I used to be a political maniac until 8 years ago, when the political landscaped changed to a totally unsurveyable cesspool of partisanship. That's when I picked up my needles again. I decided then that I was going to knit my way through all of the confusion. I read Greg Palast's, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. I learned that our voting rights ain't all that it is cracked up to be and that campaigns will probably go the way of that American Idle tv show.

Enough about that except after the crazy New Hampshire primary, my manic knitting has begun again...

Do you think if I cried, I'd be able to get out of Jaywalker purgatory?
I'm not allowed to move on to a different sock pattern until I master this one.

Which candidate is the most photogenic?
I finished this hat at one of my son's marathon basketball games (he plays Varsity and JV) 3 hours of basketball = 3 hours of knitting!

I gussied up the hats I made for my son's coach's new baby.
Do candidates kiss babies anymore?

These cute buttons are from Modern Yarn in Montclair, NJ.
Now that those pesky FDA regulations have been removed, it just might be healthier to eat these!


My pal Phyllis gave me this fun gag gift. It's a bank for me to save up for yarn! This will seriously come in handy with the recession looming. I wonder what Neil Bush thinks about the mortgage crisis?

Don't you just love this!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Post Holiday Roundup

Well the holidaze are over and I've recovered somewhat. It would have been way easier if there weren't two Christmas basketball tournaments that had me driving up and down the eastern seaboard when I should be home eating fruitcake and sipping eggnog. Anyway, the 13 year old's team won their division so he was filled with good cheer.

At 13, that's about as broad a smile you'll get

Things were a bit more complicated with the 16 year old's team including the fact that his coach's wife give birth to their first child on the second day of the tourny. I decided to whip up a few infant hats during one of the marathon game days.

Overall, Christmas was sweet and the children grateful. No more standing on line waiting for the new power ranger toy or trolling ebay for something equally stupid. When your children grow older and you've managed to sufficiently counterpropagandized them, they don't demand the latest consumer over priced item. Well, er, except for these -

I'm ashamed to admit this but I was at Finish Line at 6:30 AM to buy these size 13, Jordan retro something or other sneaker. Limited edition of course. I know, I know, I'm guilty.

Santa and I agreed that the 16 year old should have his own computer so I decided to wait. Besides it is high time that I reacquaint myself with 21st century technology and figure out how to fix this dang thing myself the way I could have 20 years ago.

Santa knows I like yarn. But Santa believes that I don't need anymore yarn. Santa then decided to gift me with these...

I'll let them speak for themselves

Did someone say knitting?

I finally finished the swing coat I started over a year ago. It is from Expressions Yarns in Englewood, New Jersey. Don't ask me what it cost.

An unintentional sailor hat

I've discovered, too late, an ugly Kureyon colorway