Archive for August, 2008

English Knitting Magazines and the Metric System

August 27, 2008

English Knitting magazines

My cousin from London and her boyfriend came for a visit.  She always brings me English knitting magazines.  I have to say that I just love them.  They are full of a wide range of patterns and at least one of them always comes with a great “free” item.  This time I ended up with a set of huge wooden knitting needles.
Giant Knitting Needles

On previous trips I have gotten other nifty stuff like nice stitch markers and a crochet hook.  I just love these things and I wish U.S knitting magazines sometimes included such “freebies.”  The feeling is akin to the joy I felt as a kid when I got the prize in the cereal box.  Okay, so I am an only child and did not have to compete with anyone for that toy, but hey, joy is joy.

Another reason I love these magazines is that they are a total surprise to me.  I have to admit that sometimes by the time the new IK or some of the other knitting magazines hit the stands, I feel like I have already read them because I have already seen some of the patterns on the internet and heard them discussed on podcasts.  That is not a bad thing, but it is weird to be standing in the bookstore looking at a magazine and be confused about whether or not I have already bought it because the patterns look familiar. 

There is one downside to these magazines, in order to knit the patterns I am going to have to force myself to get familiar with the dreaded metric system.  My cousin’s boyfriend kept saying things to me like “108 kilometers” or “23 kilograms” and I kept saying “I have no idea what that means.”  Luckily he is a teacher and kept whipping out a calculator to convert the numbers for me.  The one thing I do have a handle on is “stone.”  I  know that a “stone” is roughly 14 pounds.  This is essential information for understanding the English tabloids.  Oh, the English tabloids, they are a whole different post!!!

Anyway, does anyone know if Rowan is cheaper in England?  In other words, should I try to convince my cousin to bring me some over on her next trip?  I suspect it is not but I do have fantasies of a sweater’s worth of Rowan magically appearing in my stash.

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Andrea McCardle is Great but the Knitting is Not

August 22, 2008

Annie

Last week I went to see Andrea McCardle at the Metropolitan Room.  She was great!  Her rendition of “Tomorrow” was particularly poignant.  If you get a chance I would recommend going to see her.

The first Broadway play I ever saw was Annie starring Andrea McCardle.  At that show my Mom got me the little Annie doll pictured above.  I felt like such a geek but I brought it with me to the Metropolitan Room and had Andrea sign it.  She laughed when she saw it but said that she has signed many of these dolls over the years.

Yesterday my Mom said to me, “Are you still knitting?”  Of course, I answered “yes.”  She replied, ” Oh, I thought you might have taken a break.”  Uhm, no Mom.  I just do not talk a lot about the knitting when it is NOT going well.  Since I have been doing lots of gifts, I cannot identify the projects until after the gift has been received so no pictures at the moment.  But they will pop up later.

Anyway, this week I have learned that I can be perfectly fine [not tired, not cranky, and completely paying attention] and still make a huge mistake requiring lots of ripping back.  While ripping back I remembered that I can curse like a sailor.  I also learned that even though I did a gauge swatch, I should still check my gauge while actually knitting the actual project because apparently something can happen that would lead to the project turning out to be a size suitable for the little Annie doll.  This is problematic when the item is intended for a human being.

When I had Longer Hair

August 18, 2008

Long Hair

Let’s be honest, I look like Cousin It here.  This picture was taken last year right before I cut it off and donated it to Locks of Love.  At the time we apparently had no clue how to use the camera!  [TG for the yarnographers group over on Ravelry who have set me on a better path]  But it will have to do as it is the only picture we have of me with long hair in digital form.  Actually, Scott and GardenerX knew me back in the day when my hair was longer than this.   

Scott – hope you enjoy this blast from the past.  However, if Hub looks at this and gets all wistful and wants me to grow my hair long again, I am blaming you  🙂

Yarn, glorious Yarn

August 17, 2008

 Twisted

Is there anything better than getting new yarn?  Why yes, yes there is – winning new yarn.  A few weeks ago Courtney of the Yarntootin blog held a contest for her blorthday or blog anniversary.  Courtney’s Five hour baby sweater is one of my favorite patterns.

Anyway, I entered the contest and won a skein of Twisted Fiber Arts in the Ravelry colorway.  It is lovely.  I have to say that winning the yarn and then getting it in the mail was very exciting. 

So what am I going to do with it?  I am not sure but at the moment I am more than happy to pet and admire it.

A New Kind of Crazy on the Train

August 12, 2008

Yesterday while I was on the train I realized that a whole new sub-category of crazy has developed from the perennial favorite category of “crazy person who talks to him or her self in public”  Ever since the advent of headphones combined with radios there has been a small portion of the crazy person category who would sing or hum along aggressively to whatever music they were listening to or pretending to listen to.  This type of crazy use to be an anomaly.  However, I have encountered so many of them in recent months that I have realized that the “crazy person with mp3 player singing” has become a full-fledged crazy person sub-category. 

Usually members of this category are lone males in their twenties wearing earphones who rock back and forth while doing some combination of singing and/or humming.  It is the rocking, whether gentle or aggressive, that indicates to me that these people qualify as “crazy people.”  A long time ago I saw a documentary about severely neglected children.  Many of the children would rock back and forth as a way of soothing themselves.  Now I get to experience this behaviour first hand. 

While on the train yesterday working on some Fuzzy Feet (yeah, I know, I know but they are a great portable project), a guy sat down next to me and turned out to be a “crazy person with mp3 player singing.”  The volume of his singing/humming and the aggressiveness of his rocking kept changing throughout the trip.  He was very annoying, to say the least.  I was greatly tempted to politely ask him if he could lower his voice but then I realized that he was a crazy person and that I would be violating one of the cardinal rules of public transportation.  This rule is “Leave the crazy person ALONE.”   

Anyone offended by this post should stop their whining and just admit that they would never willingly sit by the “crazy person” on a bus, train or plane.

Amazon Package, Crazy Hair and KIPing

August 7, 2008

The package from Amazon turned out to be a book from a very nice friend.  No it was not a knitting book.  I have not gotten a new knitting book since I picked up the most recent Yarn Harlot book at the signing.  The library has not added anything interesting to their collection recently.  I am seriously jonesing for a new knitting book.  But you know I just do not need one.  Anyway, to make matters worse, the local bookstore appears to have hired someone who knows about knitting and crochet because that section has suddenly improved enormously.  I was in there last week and there were at least six books that needed to be added to my collection.  Normally there is nothing I want.  I nearly fell over with joy.  Hub had to drag me out of there.  

I got my hair cut shorter.  My hair is just wavy enough so it is not straight but not wavy enough to actually be curly.  In the past I kept it long to pull out the wave and make it more manageable.  However, now in these more enlightened times my hair dresser and I are trying to work with what my Mamma (and Poppa) gave me.  Until I get a bit more skilled with managing this new style, I have super fluffy hair.  A friend kindly said to me,   “Oh, wow, uh, your hair is very, uh, full.”  Which I think can be interpreted best as “OMG you look like a bobble head.”  I also learned that if I have a lot of product in my hair and fall asleep on the couch, when I wake up my hair will stand straight up.  Back in my Goth wannabe days this would have been very useful information.  Now, not so much.        

Yesterday and today I got to do one of my favorite things – KIP (on the pattern whose name shall not be mentioned, oh, you know, Fuzzy Feet).  Every once in a while I will be over on Ravelry and come across some comment or thread about someone reluctant to KIP because people will look at them or something.   The only people who ever look at me when I am knitting on the train or wherever, are either interested in it or completely bored.  This is one of the benefits of living in an urban area-in order to draw attention to yourself you need to do something totally outrageous and knitting just does not cut it as outrageous.

Shopping in my sleep?

August 4, 2008

On Friday I came home and found a post-it from UPS indicating that I had missed delivery of a package from Amazon.  I am not waiting for anything from Amazon.  Hub has not ordered anything recently.  It is not my birthday.  It is not Hub’s birthday.  Heck, it is not even the cat’s birthday.  There are no gift giving holidays looming on the horizon. 

I am always roaming around Amazon and the Internet looking at knitting books, digital cameras, and, until a few days ago, GPSs.  The GPS recently arrived so that is now off the list.  Okay, so I am a wee bit afraid that I ordered something or somethings in my sleep.  This would not be a completely shocking development for me as I can seem to hold complete conversations while being sound asleep.  Hub has learned this to his detriment.  Anyway, if I did order something while in an unconscious state, it will be interesting to see if my unconscious self has good taste.

Yarn Stores and GPS

August 2, 2008

Today I got a GPS.  As I have no sense of direction, these things were invented for people like me.  It is loaded with “Points of Interest” [POI] so you can find things like restaurants and gas stations along your route.  How awesome would it be if one of the “POI” categories was “Yarn Store.” Actually, how dangerous would that be?  But oh so useful.