Archive for the ‘everyday madness’ Category


I know she’s way too big to be labeled a kitten, but she is darn cute…

I hope your christmas was as fun as mine was and that you’re now soaking groggily in goodwill, shortbread and eggnog fumes after having sent your guests and family on their way!


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A visit from Dawn

Dawn came down from Beacon on Monday to stomp around the city with me and visit knitting stores!   Actually, she came down for the great square sew-up instigated by that great blanket maker of Mason-Dixon fame, Kay, but first we had lunch:


At Sarabeth’s West  Sorry for the tiny little picture.  Let’s just say the lunch was just amazingly delicious and not tiny at all.

The sew-up wasn’t happening until 4pm, so Dawn and I decided to go to Purl because Dawn had never been there before.  Can you believe that?  Our world travelling Dawn had never been to Purl!!!  We of course, had to abandon everything and get ourselves down there immediately.


We went to Purl Patchwork first and then Purl itself and rolled around in all the amazing yarny goodness that Purl is.

I bought a book: Latvian Dreams by Joyce Williams.  I’ve long admired that book and had to snatch it up.  I just love the cover models.  They’re holding a birch log between them and examining it like it’s a rare specimen that just dropped from the sky.  It’s such a beautiful book though, that Dawn and I had to go home and examine it immediately before picking up our knitting bags and heading off to Zabar’s for a pre-sew-up browse of all things edibly wonderful.  God I love that store.  I’ve been scouring their mezzanine of housewares to try to find something for the WH for xmas.

And then for the grand finale, we went to Knitty City for the sew-up:


Here’s our intrepid heroine getting her knit on before Kay showed up with all the squares.


It was a ton of squares, all neatly placed on card stock in the order to be sewn up and apparently a goodly amount of it got done.  I had to leave a little early, but Dawn stayed for the whole thing and even got her sweet mug on the blog of all blogs itself.  check out our intrepid ace knitter as she makes a name for herself in the city.

Come back soon, Dawn.  I had a blast!

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Crank up the Penguin

Our apartment here in NYC has just one thing wrong with it:  It is dry as a desert.   After weeks of waking up with our eyes glued shut and our nasal passages screaming for moisture, we broke down and made a little addition to our family.


This little guy is so darn cute we couldn’t resist him.  When he’s going, steam comes out his beak.  How do they make the steam cold?  Ah, the great mysteries of life…

The penguin (whom we sometimes call Petunia,) has caused some strange conversations to happen.  If the walls were thinner I’d worry what the neighbours might think.

Ko: So did you feel dry last night?

Kylie: Yah, a little.

Ko: Maybe we should crank up the penguin.

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My friend over at Sin City to Slaterville started a Sunday morning still life project yesterday and since I just read about it today, I thought I’d stick up a couple of my Monday morning.


Here’s the gorgeous turquoise yarn from Brook’s Farms in Texas that I’m using to make a top down sweater.  You can see that I’ve been pulling back by all the little sub-balls sitting around the main ball of yarn.

Then I looked over to the left of my office to my WH’s (wonderhusband’s) corner of the of the office, and saw him just sitting there staring at his computer so still that I thought he could perhaps qualify for project…


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Ah Rhinebeck

How do I adore thee?  Let me count the ways.

1. The trip up on Metro North along the beautiful Hudson River.  All I could think was, “Look!  The trees are turning up here!  There are fields!  Open fields!”  As if I’m not a farm girl who’s been around open fields all her life.  Guess I missed them.
2. Julibeth, our gracious hostess, and her sweet family.  Here we’re modelling the coats that we bought- yes they are the same! made by Fenwick Manor Farms.  That’s her son in this photo.  He’s such a ham- and a knitter too!  One of my favourite moments in the weekend was when we were being called to dinner Friday night and L said, “I just have to finish this row!”  Julibeth and Pete and their two lovely kiddos opened up their house for the second year in a row to 8 crazy knitters with four others coming and going.  They should be worshipped for their patience.

3.  I get to see all my Girls! (and some Boys too!)  Here are some of us outside of Morehouse Merino at the Fork In The Road.  (Some sculptor is just too clever for their own good.)

That’s Andrea, me, Hickory, Dawn and Julibeth.  Gosh, we’re cute.  Here’s Bill, (Dawn’s husband, and the only man I know who can give Julibeth’s husband Peter a run for the title of Most Supportive of Knitters.  On a side note, I asked if I could send my husband up to Pete for him to whip into shape, but he said there’s a long line ahead of Ko.  Sigh.)  Anyway, here’s Bill holding forth on some subject or other.

with Marylin, Debbie, Meredith and Julibeth held wrapt with attention.

4.  Stash enhancement!
Brooks Farms- enough for a sweater.
Socks That Rock! Socks that Rock!

Gorgeous Coriedale roving that I will just have to look at for awhile until a spinning wheel magically appears in my apartment.

5. Real, live animals! (That are not squirrels. We have a lot of squirries down here.) Some sheep:

Another sheepie

And yet more sheep. This one is being sheared. The farmers put them into this strange muzzle contraption which lifts their heads up. This one didn’t seem to mind it at all and the owner said, “He’s not sleeping, he’s meditating.” Namaste, dude.

There were also many many alpaca and llamas, but I apparently didn’t find them as photogenic because I have no photos of them. Sorry.

6. It comes around every year. Can’t wait to see you all next year! Big smooches- sorry to take so long to get this out. We were experiencing technical difficulties with photoshop.

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Openhouse NY

So here’s how I spent my weekend:

Open house NY

I went last year with my friend Aleeza:


(She has the most beautiful eyes, no?) who is a friend I made in Ithaca but has lived here in NYC (actually making a living as a pianist and a fine one at that.)  She and I like to get together and play tourist.  We’ve walked all over hell’s half-acre exploring this city and even taken those double decker buses that you see down driving tourists around with some guy talking into a microphone.  I have to say, the downtown and uptown tours were remarkably good.

Last year Aleeza indulged me by coming with me to see a bunch of buildings that were “built green”, using sustainable materials- as a house inspector this is good stuff to keep up with!  This year neither of us really got our act together and scouted out the sites ahead of time, so at the last minute we decided to go to the ferry building at Ellis Island that’s been newly renovated.  Both of us have always wanted to get to Ellis Island, and in fact, the photo above is us last year at Clinton Castle where the ferry departs for the island.  We managed to get there on the one day (besides Christmas) that is was closed because it was too stormy.  In the photo you see us just before we got drenched in the downpour that immediately opened up.  It was like standing under a waterfall.

So anyway, we decided to try again, and again, we failed.  We  forgot that it was Columbus Day weekend and apparentyl so did the MTA.  The metro system was just berserk this weekend and it took me a full hour and a half to get from 110th St down to South Ferry Station at which point we were going to have to wait in line for one and a half hours just to get on the ferry that goes to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Of course, by then we would have been over two hours late for the tour we had reserved for.  Argh!  How can I leave my house at 10:30am and not be able to make a 1pm tour of Ellis Island.  Ah the joys of city living.  Incidentally, Aleeza lives in Brooklyn and was able to spend exactly 3 minutes on the train + a 10 minute walk to the venue.  What’s wrong with this picture?

After deciding that we need to make a yearly event of not going to Ellis Island, we decided to head up to the Masonic Lodge on 23rd St.  So cool.  We got the whole talking to about how they’re a very historical association that raises lots of money for charities, etc, etc.  Someone brought up that they don’t let in women and isn’t that a mysoginist thing to do and they of course didn’t really give very good reasons for keeping us out- well, you be the judge of that:  When the question was brought up, the gentleman speaking said something like this:  “We have centuries of tradition behind us and we want to keep the traditions of our forefathers and, at the moment, that means that we don’t let women in.  Will that change in the future?  I’m quite sure that it will, but at this point we still don’t accept women as members.”  Hmm…

Anyway, there was one woman on the tour who was very vocal about how she despises any mysogonistic society, particularly this one, blah, blah, blah, and I found her a little bit upsetting.  Not so much that I didn’t agree with her point of view, because there were opinions that she held that I agreed with, but more the fact that she felt we were all just sheep being shepherded through this tour of the temple without questioning the underlying values inherent in the organization, and she needed to be the one to educate us.  Please.  I am a 36 year old woman with my own values formed both by nuture and real thought to how the world works and I really don’t need a “young whippersnapper” forcing her opinions on me.  I’m sure it’s a reaction to my Baptist upbringing that I really hate anybody who attempts to proselytize and tell me how I should think.  Fanatics, be they on the left or the right of the issues bother me- and that’s not to say that I’m a middle of the road kind of girl, because those of you who know me know that that is not my style.  No, it’s really that there are people out there who believe that their way is the only way, and there’s no room for compromise.  Of course, writing that I immediately think of some things I wouldn’t compromise on, but let’s say where has the spirit of cooperation gone?  Where is debate in this society now?  We all seem to hold our opinions and argue about them, but we don’t debate anymore.  We don’t present well reasoned rarguments to each other and discuss things and really try to see the other person’s point of view.  I’m not saying that we should then give up our own point of view and embrace the other’s, but there has to be some advantage to understanding where that other person is coming from.

Last night we went to a real debate.  Not only is it Open House NY weekend, it’s also the weekend of The New Yorker Fest.  (So much to do here!)  So, Ko being a professor one of the schools of the Ivy League, (and also having gotten all his education at another,) we decided to attend “should the Ivy League be abolished?” (scroll down) a debate between Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Gopnik with Simon Schama presiding.   What a blast!  I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Didn’t we do that whole debate thing in English class in high school and it really sucked?”  Well, yah.  Probably, but I enjoyed a couple of them.  But a real debate between skilled orators and some entertaining and funny men is a sight to behold.  It was fantastic and apparently it was decided (by a show of hands,) that the ivy league should not actually be abolished but should actually be reformed in many ways.

More about this weekend coming soon…

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Well, not all the time, but I’ve been here just over two weeks and I’d say that 90% of those days have been spent feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck.  I’ve been thinking about why moving is so exhausting and I think, (and this will be a surprise to no one,) that it’s just all the newness.  Where can I buy groceries?  Curtains?  Yarn?  WherecaI go for a good cup of coffee?  Where the hell is my toothbrush, (underwear, cat food,) that I’m sure I packed in that box/put in that drawer/bought yesterday?  I feel like a little mouse running around a vast maze where any button I push will produce either an electric shock or a nice little treat with no indication on the dial to give me a clue as to which is more likely.

Thank god for knitting.  My needles are always there for me.  I just finished the Afric Cape from Rowan magazine #42 and I almost like it.  It’s very warm and I think the shoulders are very flattering but it does this wierd poochy thing across my belly that I’m just not sure about.  I think I’ll try to wear it out tonight to dinner with my guy and see if it passes muster.  I’ll also take a picture and get it up here and onto Ravelry.  Are you on Ravelry yet?  It’s my new addiction.  If you’re a fiber freak you need to be there.

The background above is of my very favouritest knitting store ever, Knitting Etc in Ithaca.  Still looking for a fav in NYC, but I can tell you that Yarntopia and Purl are way high on the list.

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