Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ten Things Thursday- Part 3

1. I think I accidentally discovered the center of the universe for young professionals last night. My friend Martha and I had dinner in Washington Square at a place called Publick House (formerly known as Anam Cara which I had been to before). There I was, stuck in a throng of people who were all well dressed, having intelligent conversations, and being well educated. How much of this did I actually make up in my mind though? I think it was projection...

2. I might just be a lover of Belgian beer- I'm not sure. There's something about the orange peel and coriander that makes it unique- almost a white wine beer even. A good white wine at that.

3. No matter what though, I'm a red wine kind of guy. Cabernet Sauvignon especially. I like to think the wine I drink is a perfect reflection of myself. Cab Sav, what with being so dark, so complex, and so bold, resembles how I view myself spot on.

4. I once spent a whole summer that I had no money having nothing but cheese and cheap champagne for dinner. Luckily I wasn't alone in doing this.

5. Yes, this has become a slightly alcohol related post. I figure we're adults, we have a past or present with it, why not mention it?

6. One of my favorite Boston Moments was sitting with friends on a roof deck on Beacon Hill, drinking prosecco, and eating greasy pizza. I think that's why I'm so fond of prosecco during the summer- it's my attempt to recapture a moment that I could have lived in forever.

7. I prefer not to drink and knit. But maybe there's such a thing as knitter's goggles that if you've been drinking and you're around someone wearing something handknit, they automatically become that much more attractive?

8. The first thing I notice now when I go into a restaurant or in a new social situation is how many people are wearing a knit of any kind. My eyes tend to flock to it more than anything else.

9. I had a fascinating conversation about identity last night that I want to expand into something more substantial. Knitting was a major part of that discussion naturally.

10. I won't be drinking at all this weekend but I will be knitting. Back to basics- a cabled scarf for a co-worker. Then, planning stages for other projects.

Happy Thursday everyone.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

10 Things Thursday Part 2

I figured if I'm going to start something, I might as well actually keep up with it. With that in mind, here's version 2 of Ten Things Thursday.

1. I've been slightly addicted to Facebook recently- more for the odd reason of seeing how much I need to accomplish to seem like I'm in the same court as all the people I know from high school.

2. Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool just rocks my world.

3. The EZ sweater is nearing completion. I've struggled with it a lot but now I'm being super meticulous and it's working out in my advantage. My hands already know what to do- they are just begging me to hurry up and finish.

4. I'm wanting to hurry and finish because at the holiday party at work, my present contribution was a hand knit item. So, I want to finish that by the end of the month. The project? Why a pink scarf! The big question is- how will said pink scarf work? This needs to be established soon.

5. I think I lie to myself. I believe I actually like knitting in groups as tonight I'm heading out to Woolcott and Co for some chatting and knitting.

6. I've started to design stripes again.. almost compulsively to be honest. I'm hoping to make sure they at least translate into something knitted eventually.

7. Me, I might just be a jewelry maker soon. That is, if my hands are ever free from...

8. All the design projects I'm planning! I figure it's time to just go all out and see what this boy can do. There was this great quote sent at my work that basically said it's better to fail at what you love then succeed at what you hate.

9. I might be falling in love with miso soup. Anybody have suggestions for amazing miso soup in Boston?

10. The color brown. That's it. The color brown. It deserves two fragments it's so beautiful.

- Jeff

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

My Knit Year's Resolutions

Funny enough, I don't think I've made any hard and fast resolutions for this year. Mostly I'm just hoping for peace inside myself and courage/energy to tackle the challenges that will be thrown my way. Throw in acceptance of things I can't change too- that's always a nice one.

Knitting though- now there's a place to make resolutions!

1. Try and become a more social knitter- maybe even attend a group of some sort.

2. Year of the sweater. While I've started over 3 times on the current sweater I'm working on, it's been more of a friend rather than a project. When I go home at night, I know the sweater is there to work on. As long as I pick fiber that I love, colors that excite me, or a pattern that I can't wait to finish, I'll have all the knitting needs I have met in the sweater.

3. Eschew perfection but aim for precision and thoughtfulness in my knits. If a mistake happens, try and implement any technical skills I have to try and maneuver around it or get rid of it. But don't start the whole project over again if it can't be resolved.

4. Experiment and/or design. While endless stockinette is fun, it's not so much of a challenge, is it? I resolve to pick up my Barbara Walker and EZ books and really see how I can get the images in my mind onto fabric.

5. Get a better camera and blog more. Nuff said there!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pre-Sale Jitters

You know what's weird? Before a sale today at Woolcott and Co., I'm getting the jitters. I think it's because I know how crazy I can go during a sale. And with the Pemaquid at 25% off, it might not even stand a chance because I could use some amazing, warm, and colorful alpaca hats. Well, not hats for alpacas but hats for me made out of alpacas (and definitely not made by alpacas though that would be quite a wonder to see)

What else tempts me before a sale?

- Lots and lots of Elsebeth Levold Silky Wool
- All of Barbara Walker's Knitting Treasuries
- Rowan Tapestry (I'm curious about making a Clapotis)
- Anything Elizabeth Zimmerman
- Fun kids yarns for 2 Baby Surprise jackets

Oh there's just too much!

So in 23 minutes, I'm off. Perhaps I should call my credit card company beforehand. Nah! Luckily I have some yarn protection inside that says Thou Shall Not Stash. Plus I may not have as much time for knitting now as the winter is picking up and I'm wanting to pick up some other things for variety such as beading, writing, and most importantly, knitting's new cousin, designing! This may even include a new business by me so be on the lookout. I'd love the support.

What makes you giddy before a yarn sale?

Friday, December 22, 2006

In A Knitting Haze (Mary Poppins Version)

Excuse me in advance, I'm writing this post in a knitting haze. Unfortunately it's the bad knitting haze, not the good one. While I'm waiting for the big spurt of energy to hit me to rip back my Seamless Saddle Shoulder sweater, I've been trying to start a hat. But the same attention required for ripping back is needed with this cast on. One day I will learn Sean's method of long tail cast on requiring no estimation. So now let's try and break through the haze.

The Sweater:

So far I've accomplished:

- The Rocking hem. A beautiful masterpiece of purple/red hem hidden beneath the Coast Grey color of Swish Superwash from Knitpicks. The hem technique is great and made especially easy with the Knitpicks interchangable needles. Doing the hem inspired my first use of a provisional cast on (the crochet method), first time undoing said cast on, and making a hem of any sort. The people who've seen this part so far have enjoyed this color combination. For those searching KnitPicks, look for Swish Superwash in the Coast Grey and Bordeaux. One word of advice though. When doing a hem, do not watch Mary Poppins. Suddenly you'll find yourself singing

"A spoonful of sugar helps the hem come together, the hem come together, the hem come together."

- A Body and Sleeves. I proved it to myself that I have the knitting stamina required for long periods of garment construction. Granted there was no shaping needed except for some m1s on the sleeves but I always doubted that I could do that. Of course Sean never did and once again he's right! But I knew the challenging part was coming ahead. Luckily I had Julie Andrews at my side again.

"When the hem's done and the sleeve's right, when the body's done, I simply remember my favorite knits and then I don't feel so bad"

- Saddle Decreasing. Right before you start the saddles, you do this wonderful decreasing that looks like pearls that just jumped out of an oyster. Small, detailed, but gorgeous when in smooth alignment. To me, this was the most fun I've had with knitting in a while. By a while though I mean since the hem, the sleeves, and the body. This whole project has been a wonderful time.

"Oh it's a jolly holiday with k2togs. No wonder that it's decreases that we love"

Then everything fell apart. Big gaping holes due to the SSKs, more gaping holes due to no W&Ts on the neck, wrong size needles, and revelation that you can be so close but have to start all over again.

"Sad saddle shoulder, sad saddle shoulder, sad shoulder-y,
a weeping is me, a weeping much to see"

But then I remember it's knitting and I can rip it back. If Justin Timberlake can bringing SexyBack, I can bring RippingBack.

And now it really doesn't feel that bad.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No, I Will Not Confirm/Purl on Demand

It's a restless world enough as it is. But the workplace always seems to magnify that reality to an irritating degree. Constantly the phone is ringing, people are micromanaging you, and making you confirm this or confirm that. ENOUGH!!! I want to look them in the eyes and when they least expect it, whip out my knitting needles and (while still maintaining eye contact because I can knit without looking now) tell them that I'll get to it when I can. There is no emergency

Unless I drop a stitch of course. Then you can send me another pointy red exclamation point e-mail.

That's not life though. Life is a series of unanswered red exclamation point emails and confirmations. Except when you knit. Knitting is this wonderful corner office life where only the corner office exists. You don't need email- who the heck is going to email you about the status of your knit stitches (unless you're designing of course but for sake of argument, no designing allowed)? I'm not having to confirm any sort of knitting behavior to help ease the boredom of a co-worker or satisfy the ego/control nut whom practices micromanagement like it's a religion. No, my needles are my only supervisors. All they ask is for good wool and lots of use. Now there's a job description.

I guess I'm learning how I operate now. I'm not a fan of interruptions in my daily work. Actually, I'm quite content with doing the same thing all day as long as I can track some progress. I'm one person who is not ready to be pulled in many different directions because it confuses the mind, which can be managed if you're doing something you enjoy, but not so easily when it's not your passion.

So much of the knitting I do is an expression of where I'm at in my life. I consider myself an ambitious knitter in the sense that I step outside of my own comfort level in order to achieve results that will increase my confidence. I'm hoping to find a career that brings out that excellent side in me but I've still yet to make up my mind. I know that whatever I do, my knitting will follow. But I don't want it to follow me as a relief from my daily activities- I want them as an extension of my happiness that I know is possible in work. Luckily I'm learning there are a variety of skills that can be self taught that I'm interested in- programming, proofreading, editing, entrepreneurship, design. Funny isn't it? A lot of those skills remind me of knitting.

I like how life is nothing but a stitch sometimes.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

10 Things Thursday

Ten Things Thursday

A brief read- the best kind sometimes.

1) I usually can't function without some sort of white noise. I have a fan on at my desk and in my bedroom at all times to drown out the silence.

2) My favorite dish is a simple Pad Thai from the small Thai place near my apartment. When I had bad strep throat in May and couldn't eat anything, I mustered up all my energy and pain coping powers just to eat it. It was the only meal I had for days.

3) I haven't finished my education yet. I've been in a holding pattern trying to figure out what I want to do- I don't want to go back to school now just for the sake of doing so.

4) I get to work an hour early every day- sometimes I'll catch up on emails. Most of the times I'm either reading the blogs or (now) knitting. My work is quite accustomed to seeing me during the morning in our cove area that overlooks Boston Harbor.

5) I'm not phased by commute times and things like that. I have an hour commute every morning but I've always had it so don't feel like it's too long or feel the need to get upset about it.

6) My dream is to be a freelance something. For a while I played around with the idea of being a Freelance Stripe Designer. If you know anyone looking for someone who can play with stripes well on a computer, please give them my contact info. A stripe portfolio can be furnished upon request.

7) One phrase that makes me shudder in absolute pain: "mass produce" My ex used it. You can make the deduction from that one...

8) I believe that knitting and Netflix are the perfect combination for urban life. When I get home from work and immerse myself in these two worlds, I feel at peace. Mostly I like to rent DVDs of TV series but I also have a fondness for things like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Jane Eyre and etc.

9) I get wicked bad allergies. I used to think it was because I was allergic to school. Now, I just think it's annoying and a waste of sick days.

10) I realized that my neighborhood in Boston (Allston) has whole blocks dedicated to nothing but food. In the span of a few minutes, I can pass a Chinese restaurant, a coffee/dessert shop, a Korean restaurant, a Vietnamese restaurant, Italian place, Thai place, Mexican place, Indian, Asian BBQ, Pub fare, Asian bakery, Bubble Tea palace (at least to me). It's a whole kingdom of food!