Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Secret Blue Thing

Chris and I are heading to New York City for the weekend to see friends, visit the Russian Baths, go to Coney Island before it is turned to Disneyland next year, and, perhaps, I may just go to Purl Soho. In light of the giant bag from Webs, it may not be a good idea. I will be returning to New York in October with my mom, and hopefully I'll have knit through some serious stash by then!In the meantime, I'm working on something for someone who often reads this blog. It is made from lovely blue Rowan Calmer and is a very fast project. It will follow me on my trip and may even be finished on the bus. That's Chris waiting to head out on a bike ride while I photograph the Blue Thing.

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Remember those who came before and gave us the 40-hour week!

"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation." See the webpage for more!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Road Trip

WEBS. It was my first time, and nothing my friend Hannah said could have prepared me for the wonder of it. I purchased this:That's enough Reynolds Whiskey to make the Enid cardigan, a design I've always loved... when I saw the richly layered colors and felt the softness of the Whiskey, it was over. It's also enough Silky Wool to make the Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan in just about any size, since I may make it for myself or as a gift, a skein of Fibre Company Terra for a Christmas present hat, four skeins of Jaeger baby wool for a tomten, some lovely balls of Jaeger Siena cotton for another present, a cone of green warp yarn, and two very large cones of Harrisville 2/8 Shetland for weaving that were $10 each.

The total? $162. I was yelling "oh my GOD! HANNAH! OH MY GOD!!!" and jumping up and down when the nice lady at the register told me.

This should keep me occupied for a while.

In the meantime, here are Chris' feet in his new short socks and cycling shoes. I'm so proud that he likes handknit socks the best for riding. These are the first in the "series" he requested. It's lovely to be appreciated.

And thanks to everyone for all the nice comments about my 30th birthday! My motto for my 30s is "no deterioration!" There's no reason we can't just get better and better with age.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Where have I been? TURNING 30!!!

So I'm not really 30 until Wednesday the 22nd. My big surprise party was this past weekend; Spinal Optimization drove in, my sister flew to Boston from Chicago, my friends Amy and Aaron drove up from New York, Hannah made her way over after retrieving her samples from Windsor Button (including the Kaffe Fassett design Brocade, yeesh), and Mom and Dad Bergh came and represented Nana Bergh (I call her "The Nan," and we bond over the fact that she used to knit, crochet, and sew at an exceptionally high level, even owning a yarn store for a while), who is a little frail and would be a bit overwhelmed at such an event.

In sum, 10 of my favorite people around one table. A few couldn't make it, but it was fantastic. Chris managed to keep the secret, only letting me in on the date. By the way, note the handknit he wore that night!

Have I been knitting? Yes, yes... the Mermaid body is done. I have nearly completed a pair of short socks for Chris to wear while biking and working out, made from Claudia Handpainted (available at Windor Button, albeit a Hannah-less Windsor Button... she's moving to Chicago), which is AWESOME. If I didn't have enough sock yarn for the next few years, I would buy some in every color. It's strong and a little nubbly, and the colors are so, so deep and rich. No pooling, either!

In reaction to all this small-needle knitting, I started a BAS (big-ass scarf) for a Christmas present. It's made of some Lopi that I got in Iceland a few years ago, some Rowan Big Wool, some Cascade Magnum, and some handspun. It's going to have Ozark Handspun fringe. Who will be the recipient??? No one knows. It's on size 15 needles, and I did all that in one day.

Finally, a note on Spinal Optimization. My dad severed his spinal cord between T6 and T7 (above the navel) about two years ago. Since then, he has been back to work full time, weight training, hand cycling, traveling all over, pretty much living just like anyone else, aside from the fact that he uses his arms as his arms and his legs. So calling my parents Spinal Optimization, which is really their mission, allows me to send them the occasional letter or make the occasional phone call from work (I do work in Neurosurgery as Administrative Secretary II, you know). And something created out of necessity just stuck. Every day they are out there disproving notions of what people who are handicapped can do, optimizing the upper spine! Doing more than most people who have all the spine at their disposal!

So that's the story. Back to the knitting!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Spine Optimization, LIC

Baby deadlines lately! My cousin's wife (Chris has let me know that she is, technically my cousin, too, but since my cousin is male, well, it's just weird to say my cousin) is having a baby this fall. So, it's Doughy Dutch Baby Tomten Too. It's made of Cotton Ease from my stash, knit on #5 needles. Finished up last night at about 11 pm, overnighted to Spine Optimization (which is how I now refer to my parent's house) this morning for the Saturday am baby shower. And there were booties to go along with it; sorta matching but not matchy-matchy.

Next: more progress on the Mermaid (I'm committed to finishing the body over the next few days) and some new short socks for Chris. Chris is a big fan of the short socks.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

But she just don't like her boring job no!

I'll open with the good news and the show-off photos of my beautiful family, both in and out of handknits. Chris has noted that there are more photos of my Dud on the blog than of him and is honestly a bit hurt. To remedy this, he modeled his "Filey" sweater from Alice Starmore's "Fisherman's Sweaters" for me after work today, despite highs over 95 degrees! I made it for his birthday last year, from about 22 balls of Den-M-Knit. It's my second Fisheman's Sweater, and I just love it.

I'll post a photo of the two of us at my cousin Jason's wedding this past weekend as well!

In knitting news, I'm working on a Tomten jacket for one of my cousins, who will have a baby in November. It's going to be a boy, and I chose colors from my stash of Cotton-Ease (some of which was hoarded during the "it's going to be discontinued!" panic of about a year and a half ago and some of which is new "oh, look, it's back and the colors are so nice!" acquisitions) that are fun yet sophisticated. I think this color scheme will make their doughy Dutch baby look like it has better vocabulary than the other babies. I should have it done in a few days.

Aside from all this good stuff, my job has taken a turn for the yucky very, very quickly, a turn that appeared to promise more responsibility, some note about my extreme administrative skills, and, with that new responsibility, more money. Instead, I got more work. Just.... a lot.... more. No thank you, no money. When I found this out from my middle-managers, I decided, well, screw it. And didn't change out of the boots I wore to work.

Interestingly, I got a few compliments from the MDs about my outfit that day. The Clash has been the soundtrack for the last few days. Career Opportunities.