Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An Accomplishment

This Sunday, Hubby and I completed the entire New York Times Crossword puzzle. I've completed crosswords before, but never the NYT Sunday puzzle. I give it a shot every weekend. I start buy filling in every everything that comes to me easily. Then I mark the ones that I know I don't know anything about like the middle name of the 1950's singer who I've never heard of or the baseball player who hit the final home run in a certain world series. I look these ones up on the Internet (and in the process usually spend an hour or two following random Wikipedia links and learning something). Finally, I really set to work trying to figure them out with the letters and clues that I have. Eventually, I set it aside to check against next week's paper. My goal is usually more to enjoy the thought game then to actually complete the puzzle.

This week, I got well over half the puzzle done by the time I was ready to set it down which is pretty uncommon for me. I was so proud, I took it to show Hubby and boast, and he started pointing out a couple that he knew. The ones he knew helped me with others, and those further helped him, and after a little bit of guessing we had it filled in. I couldn't wait until next weekend to find out how we did, so I filled in the one online and checked it. We had every single letter right!

I'm doing pretty good on my knitting accomplishments too. I'm still on track to finish the sleeves of my cardigan today or tomorrow. Which means I should be able to seam it up this weekend and decide if I should rip it out or press on. But first, maybe a quick game of Sudoku.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ad: Verizon

I am not a channel surfer. I think this is due to two things. First, my cable provider allows me to see what is on all of the channels without leaving the one I am watching, so I never feel like I am missing something better. Second, and I think more importantly, I like commercials. I don't want to go peek at the other channels during those breaks, because I want to see the ads. Like everyone else, I get sick of them by the time they are done running, but I really appreciate the creativity and art that goes in to many of them. I also love the earnestness of the ones that are obviously locally made with almost no budget. Since moving, I've become a big fan of the West New York commercials where my mayor sits down with some one famous (to date it has been Christopher Columbus and Santa Clause) and tells me to come shop in West New York over the holiday. I wish some one had it up on YouTube so I could share it with you. I can't wait to hear the words, "I'm Mayor Sal Vega, and I'm here with the Easter Bunny to tell you...."

Anyway, the holidays are a great time for ads and I have been loving this one:

It is a fantastically simple and visual way to convey their message. My opinion doesn't mean much, but I approve.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Beautiful Surprise

Hubby and I did most of our holiday celebrating while Mom and Dad were here at Thanksgiving. When Christmas did roll around, we did do much. We cuddled, watched some Christmas specials on tv, read, and called our families. There was no tree, feast or gifts. While I am normally a big fan of the holiday festivities, this quite day for the two of us was a nice change of pace for our first Christmas alone. Even though we didn't have anything planned, we were still in for some very sweet surprises from our friends and family.

One of the most unexpected and exciting was this beautiful hank of Ozark Handspun that was sent from some friends in Arkansas. It is a fabulous yarn. It is about an aran weight, singly ply (which I only had to point out because I am proud that I understand what it means). When the hank is opened up and laid out, the two main colors (a rich copper and a deep teal) are on opposite ends and faded into each other. I almost set my cardigan aside because I was so excited to start playing with this. I am having trouble deciding what it wants to be though. I have about 190yards so I have been thinking it might be a beret, a cowl, or a tea cozy. Of course it could also be a hat, fingerless mittens, or a (short) scarf. Any ideas? Until I figure it out, it will just have to sit here on my desk looking beautiful so I can try to commune with it as I browse Ravelry.

P.S. I finally got my male model to put on his Dashing Gauntlets so I could take a better picture.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A White Christmas

Is there anything in your life that you decided you knew as a child only to grow up and realize how off you really where? I have moments all the time (well, not everyday, but often enough) where I discover something completely obvious that I could have figured out if I had thought about it. I just never thought about it because I decided that I already knew everything that there was to know some time around age 8. One of these things was the phrase White Christmas.

I grew up in northern Wisconsin, and it wasn't until I moved to Arkansas in high school that I realized that dreaming of a white Christmas could be a request for any snow at all. Up until that point, I thought it meant a fresh layer of snow. When I sang that song in elementary school, I was wishing for a fresh sparkling blanket to fall while we were all asleep. That way, everything would be a beautiful crisp white. Beyond the stories of Christmas snow being magical, and Santa bringing it from the North Pole, the dirty piles left by the plows are just not pretty enough to sing about. All I ever wanted was the inch or two it would take to cover them up.

Then I moved to Arkansas. I know that if I had thought about it, I could have figured out that not everyone has snow all winter long. It just never occurred to me to think about. While I lived down there White Christmas became an anthem for me, and I was never able to get it. I would visit my family in Chicago for the holidays, and they would all comment on how I must have brought the warm weather with me because there was no snow. I met my future husband who was from Seattle. When he took me home to meet his family, he promised that if it didn't snow on Christmas, we'd drive up in the mountains where he snowboards to see the snow there. (He's a sweetie isn't he.) There was so little snow that the mountain top ski resorts were all closed. While we were in Seattle, it snowed in Arkansas, and as soon as we left Seattle, they were hit with a storm. The only snow we saw that year was while we were driving home though Texas, in the middle of the night, and I was fast asleep.

Now that I'm back north, I've been hoping for snow this Christmas. This year I settled for just having snow on the ground, and I pretty much got my wish. When I woke up yesterday morning, all of the grassy areas, and bushes were covered, but yesterday was a bright sunny day so it all quickly melted away. Fortunately, right outside my office window is a is a little shady spot that the sun never hits. So, I still have some snow left over from Christmas. Maybe next year, I'll start hoping for the fresh stuff again.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

First Days

My first two days of work were generally fantastic. I say generally, because the job seems great and the people were wonderful, but there were some bad luck things that overwhelmed my Monday. When I arrived the heater wasn't working. All of my professional clothes (that fit) were bought in Arkansas. It is an understatement to say that wasn't prepared to work in an old building with drafty windows and a broken heater at the end of December. I carried on with my paperwork in my bright blue fingerless mitts. I need to make another pair that is a bit more professional. I have some beautiful dark gray Frog Tree Alpaca that I think will do just the trick. By the afternoon the heat was on, and the knitwear was put away. The other crazy thing that happened, was when I tried to turn my computer on, it just wouldn't go. We got some IT guys to our office, and they started talking to each other about a trojan. Then they opened up my CPU, and took my hard drive. They said it was failing and they would save what they could. I didn't have anything on there, but I got the sense from my coworkers that there was stuff we'd like to keep. They brought it back and said they saved most of it. I hope I didn't loose anything important, but at this point, I wouldn't even know if I did.

Other than that, everything was fantastic. Things were quite so I was able to start to learn my way around and get to know my coworkers. My commute is about an hour and a half each way. I haven't really judged whether I'll be knitting or not yet. Right now there are parts that I could easily knit during, but right now a lot of people are on holiday vacations. It will probably be after the New Year before I get a real sense of how crowded my commute will be. Podcasts or reading are definitely a go though, so I'll never be bored.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Recommendation

As I mentioned, in addition to knitting, I've been catching up on my podcasts for the past couple days. I am probably subscribe to far too many, but I like them all and I listen to most of them regularly. I get most of my news via podcast. I also listen to lectures at local universities, stories about New York and its history, and of course some great knitting stuff. At some point, I'll have to go though and share with you all of my favorites. That is for the future though. Today I want to share one particular episode with you. I listened to it yesterday, and loved it.

It is from the CUNY Lecture Series podcast. The page lists about a month's worth and will direct you to older ones and other CUNY radio productions. I have been impressed with the series so far, but that shouldn't be any shock. I enjoy the higher ed environment so having academia streaming though my headphones keeps me pretty happy. The particular episode that I loved so much I would recommend it to everyone that I know reads this blog is Crafting an Eloquent Beginning. One of the John Jay professors was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Biography. I'm not sure if this evening was a celebration, or if it was event from the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the Graduate Center. Either way it was fantastic, and I wish I had been there for the live reading. Several authors read their favorite opening paragraphs from various biographies. I recommend that you take an hour to listen. You could sit down at your computer with your knitting, or you could download it to you mp3 player (iTunes) and listen while you take a walk or do the dishes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Change of Pace

On Monday I start my new job with Brooklyn College. I am excited about the position and the office I'll be working with, but this is going to mark a drastic change in pace for me. I can't wait because quite frankly, I've been getting restless at home. I think the changes will be positive for everyone except the few avid followers of this blog. I imagine I'll be posting less, and the content might not be as knitting focused as it currently is. This prediction is based on my expectation that I won't be knitting as much, but you never know. I will have about an hour to commute and maybe since I'll be riding the subway away from Manhattan, I'll have some knitting time there. We'll just have to see, but I thought you deserved a warning.

Now for the fun stuff:

Since I accepted the position on Thursday, I didn't have to dedicate any of my normal time to job hunting yesterday or this weekend. I've reallocated all of that time to catching up on podcasts (I am still way behind since I didn't listen to any the week after thanksgiving) and working on my Christmas cardigan. I don't expect it to be done by Christmas, but I know that I have two days off next week and two days off the week after. I am hoping to get the bulk of the knitting done during these times so maybe I can set aside a weekend for seaming and another for the button band and shoulder flap.

Before you get too excited by my productive sounding plans, I should warn you that I am facing a full sweater frogging. I finished the back yesterday, and I blocked it this morning. Blocking is really the part of this project that I've been most worried about. Up until this point, I've been blocking things just to give them a nice bath and a finished look. The dimensions of my blocked items haven't been vital. This time, if the sizes aren't the same, the pieces aren't going to seam together right. So, while I was consumed in the worries that my haphazard blocking is going to get me in trouble, I neglected to worry about other things.

I finished the back of the sweater yesterday, and I blocked it this morning. to my dismay, it was stretched way too long. I managed to schunch it up into the proper measurements, I don't know how much of the schunching is too much. The width is fine, but none of the lines lengthwise really look clean or straight. (I'm sorry the picture is bad, my blocking space is not well lit.) I'm pretty confident that the weight of wearing it, is going to pull that length back out. So, I've been battling all morning with the options of frogging now, or waiting and potentially frogging the entire thing. I think I've decided to trudge on. I realize that if I finish the entire thing, I'll be less likely to frog it, and less likely to wear it if it fits poorly, but I have a lot of reasons to think it might be ok even with the extra length (there is a little YarnHarlot inside my head telling me that those will be marked as my famous last words). First, the width is good, so conceptually, the sweater should still fit, just be longer. Second, I made the smaller size, so a little bigger might be to my benefit. Third, I already cut an inch off the bottom, so if the added length makes it fall at the widest part of my hips that is undesirable but not disastrous. Fourth, even before the extra inch was cut, the bottom didn't reach the widest part of my hips yet so there is even more room to play with. Fifth, this is my first pieced together sweater, so I don't know what kind of stability seaming in the sleeves (which will have a width dimension that matches this length dimension) will give to the sweater. Sixth (and finally), I have absolutely no idea how to fix it if I do frog it. It is not the main body of the sweater that I am worried about, but section from the arm pit up. That section doesn't have any knit to X" long directions in it so I am uncertain about where I could cut anyway. I realize that I could decrease faster to make it shorter, but that would change the angle and the shape so the sleeves might not fit anymore.

Well, all of that just made me more confident. Did it convince you? I am going to keep going, and if in the end it was the wrong call, hopefully, I will have learned enough about this type of sweater that I can come up with a plan to adjust it. In the meantime, maybe I'll keep my eye out for some top down patterns just in case.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Guest Blogger: Hubby

Today's post is by my newest knitting convert about his first FO. The pattern was Palindrome, and the yarn was Wool Pak New Zealand 14ply.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, there lived a fiber artist. This artist was talented and incredible, able to fashion the fibers of the world into creations unimaginably soft and warm. This post is not about that artist however, it's supposed to be about me, and my first knitting project.

This scarf was a pain in the backside, and easily the most difficult project I have ever knit so far. I found it surprisingly difficult to count to two over and over and over again without losing my place for a good part of the project. I discovered that while knitting during TV shows can be a great distraction from what is actually going on on the screen, I tend to become more enthralled with the lives of the fictional characters than the rough fibers in my lap. Commercials would fade quickly into the background as I would try and remember
what my next stitch was supposed to be.

Amanda says that this wasn't really a beginner project because it has something called reversible cables. It found that it was mainly just knit two, purl two though from beginning to end with a little cussing and straining every six rows as I imagined the thread breaking from all the stretching and fumbling with the little cable needle. I was told repeatedly that this was supposed to be a relaxing and enjoyable activity, and I guess that I haven't perfected that part of the process quite yet... The scarf seems to have turned out roughly scarf-like though and I imagine that it will serve the purpose of keeping my neck warm better than the cake-shaped chunk of yarn that I started with would have.

Where should I go next with my knitting adventures? I thought perhaps a blanket, but from what I hear global warming will make them obsolete by the time I could possibly finish something that size. Perhaps a wash cloth or cell phone cover would be a more approachable project for my second foray into the exciting and relaxing world of knitting fun.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Babe

Monday was Hubby's birthday, so we spent a couple days all about him. As I finished knitting up the frogged parts of his socks this weekend, I was getting ready to cast on for my cardigan. That's when he started making the comments. "Can I try on your fingerless mitts?" "These are really nice; I like these a lot." "You know if you really wanted to make me something, I wouldn't mind a pair of these." As it turns out I am extremely flattered by, and highly susceptible to people who want my knitting. I'm also pretty incapable of turning him down just two days before his birthday.

So, I pulled out a random ball of Nashua Creative Focus Superwash, and dedicated myself to turning out a pair of Dashing mitts for him. I really like this pattern, but I think I may have made them too small. I kept knitting up a few inches and then asking him to try them on because they seemed so big. He would slip his arm though, and sure enough the cuff would look huge on him. I ended up going down three needle sizes (I normally only go down one or two to get gauge) and switching to the small size. The cuff started to look normal on him, so I went though with the mitts only to learn that the cable really tightens them up. This pair is tight enough that I'd be comfortable wearing them, but he says he likes them like that so that's the way they will stay. I really should get a better picture of them (preferably on his wrists), but we've had very little sunlight the past few days. I'm not too bothered by it because yesterday we had snow, but it hasn't been great for picture taking.

For those of you who are WoWers like us, you can check out the stats on his new gloves. They are for a shaman healer.

Wow Item Creator!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Stress Relief

If you are not going to finish up that last minute Christmas knitting, you are in luck. At this website you can create a handknit holiday sweater and send it to anyone naughty or nice. I found this almost as entertaining as the Weepies snowglobe, but nothing will ever top paper snowflakes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm Spoiled

While Mom was here for Thanksgiving, she was determined to set me up with yarn for a project for myself. We made it out to Purl in SoHo, but the only thing that struck me as must have there was the fall issue of Knitscene. So, when Mom left, she gave me some money and a mission to buy something nice for myself. I spent a couple days going though my queue assessing all of my wish list projects and their fiber requirements. I ended up coming right back to that new Knitscene and setting my heart on the Nubby Cardigan.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to try out some Malabrigo yarn. Everywhere on the internet people are raving about this yarn and I haven't had an occasion to use it yet. I headed over to my LYS to pick some up, but the cubby of Malabrigo was close to empty. Patricia reminded me of the mill fire they had, and told me that she has an order placed, but she hasn't gotten a shipment since then. Instead of waiting an indefinite period of time, she helped me pick out an alternative.

I settled on some Cream/Tan colored Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted. It cost a bit more and I went over my 'budget,' but I'm confident that it was a worthwhile investment. It is a wonderfully soft 100% superwash wool with very subtle color variations. The main colors seem to be cream and tan, but there is also a definite hit of peach.

Last night I knit up, soaked, and blocked the swatches. As they were drying I read though the pattern and drew myself a little step by step diagram. I've decided that I am going to make the small size instead of the medium. My measurements fall pretty squarely in the middle of the two. The texture pattern is a 1x1 rib so it will have a lot of give, and so will the cables. I'm also thinking that since it is already a big cozy cardigan, too much positive ease could push it over the edge from cozy to frumpy. Hopefully I am making the right call, but I do have enough yarn to make the next size up. The only adjustment that I've decided to make to the pattern is to take an inch of the bottom ribbing. I don't wan the sweater to hit at the widest part of my hip so I am going to make it just a touch shorter.

I am excited and a little intimidated about this project. This sweater is knit in pieces and then seamed up so this is really the first time my blocking is going to be really important. It's going to be fun.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gifts for Knitters

Are you wondering what to get for the knitter you adore? Trying to figure out how to give a gift that shows you really appreciate the years of warm socks, sweaters, hats, and mittens that you've been blessed with by having a knitter in your life? Well, as the holiday gets closer, knitters are taking a break from their frantic last minute gifts to share some of the things that they asked Santa for.

Interweave Press has a great little bit of everything bundle.

Lime and Violet writers have been contributing their goodies lists.

The Yarn Harlot talks about just how much beautiful tools are appreciated.

As I come across more suggestions, I'll add them in. Share what you want for Christmas in the comments section.

I was spoiled with some yarn money to dedicate to a project just for me, and I've got big plans for it already.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baby Stuff

I finished the I-cord border on the log-cabin-like diaper pad. So it is officially finished and I'm going to send it out the expecting parents who just found out that it's a boy!
I'm thinking it will be useful despite its smaller size. A diaper pad now, and a metal bleacher cover in a couple years at the little league games.

I also quickly whipped up a Baby Feet dishcloth for a friend's sister. She just had a beautiful little girl. While, we (the sister and I) are not very close, I know that if I had lived in Florida for more than just a few months we would have been like family. I wanted to do just a little something to congratulate her.
This was a fun knit with my first ever bobbles. I'm generally not a fan of bobbles. (I think it has to do with a bobbled sweater that I was given as a young girl that had horribly placed bobbles and lead to lots of ridicule the one scarring day that I wore it.) This sweater is the only other bobble pattern that I have ever considered making, and it still hasn't made it all the way to my Ravelry queue. For this pattern however, I think they are absolutely adorable as little baby toes and I will probably make it again.

I finished it at the knitting group last night, and I was asked why I knit dishcloths. I was the wrong person to ask because I've only knit three of them to date. I can see some of the appeal though. They are useful, and cute. They are super quick so they make instant gratification projects. Beyond that, there are so many dishcloth patterns out there, that I can't imagine them ever becoming boring. I can also see them making fantastically specialized gifts. On the other hand, I am starting to have my fill of cotton. When I am working with cotton, I miss the give and forgiveness of wool. Do you knit dishcloths? What do you like or dislike about them?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Festive Fibers

I've been feeling very at home at Starbucks this holiday. All of the shops are filled with yarn for the holidays.Green sparkly yarn balls decorate the counters, fill vases, and are paired up with red ornaments to make wreaths. I don't think it would be a hard look to achieve either. A few styrofoam balls, a couple hanks of festive yarn, and a wreath form would probably do the trick. If you are looking for a caffeine fix, you should go check it out. It's a sweet simple look that makes me want to knit Christmas scarves.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Catching Up: The Knitting

I have a lot of knitting to catch you up on, but not quite as many pictures as yesterday. Hopefully, the formatting will stay a little sane.

Mom's Christmas Socks
First we have to go way back to the pair of Christmas socks that never got blogged. We gave our parents their gifts while they were here, so there is no need to keep it a secret any longer. It started when I mentioned to Hubby that I was thinking of making Mom socks for Christmas. He said she would really love some heavy warm ones that she could wear around the house. I instantly thought of the Windowpane socks that were already in my knitting queue. The color work in these socks almost gives them an extra layer from the yarn that is being carried across on the inside. Originally I had chosen Essential in Cocoa and the Blue Violet Multi.

I was envisioning rich chocolate socks with a hint of color to lighten them up. I didn't get very far in my gauge swatch before I realized that the brown and the purple were too similar to really give the intended effect. Fortunately, I had some Essential in Buckskin waiting in the sidelines to become Hubby's socks so I was good to go, and the two colors worked even better than what I was originally shooting for.
The next dilemma that I had to overcome was the fact that I still hadn't successfully made a pair of socks that fit me. Mom and I wear the same size, so I needed socks that fit me. My first pair felt like they fit, but when I wore them the wandered all around my ankle. The second pair felt like it fit, but when I wore them for awhile they became uncomfortably tight around my leg. It took about 20 minutes of staring at my leg for me to realize that I have pretty good sized calves. I broke out my measuring tape and sure enough, there is more than 3 inches difference between my ankle and where the top of a hand knit sock would sit. I decided that this had been the problem since anything that fit my calf would be far too big for my ankle and anything that fit my ankle would be too tight for my calf. Knowing that Mom's calves are more muscular than mine, I decided that this was how I was going to try to attack my fit problem. I measured my leg every inch and incorporated decreases into the pattern to try and make a more custom fit.
Then I increased back to the original number of stitches across the five rows right before the heel flap. It makes it a little tight to get on, and you have to give it a serious tug to get that smallest section over your heel, but they fit me perfectly. They were really tempting to just tuck away for myself, but they seemed to fit Mom just as well.

Hubby's Parade Mitts
Next on the list is the Parade Mitts for Hubby. I started these about a week before Thanksgiving because Hubby was noticing what an advantage I was going to have at the Macy's parade because of the mittens I had made myself. The plan was to make him some Broad Street Mittens out of the Cocoa Essential that didn't get used for Mom's socks. Since time was short, I decided to make each of the gloves first and the mitten caps second. It was a wise choice, because I finished the gloves at midnight before the parade. I decided that Hubby could do with out the mitten caps for this parade, and maybe it would teach him that I'm only human and I need a little more time for completed masterpieces.
This picture should explain why I knit two socks at a time. Look closer....
The bottom pair is a half an inch longer than the top pair. Even on Hubby's long skinny hands it looks floppy. Since I'm not happy with them, I'm going to skip the mitten cap, make him a new pair, and eventually frog these. While he may not have had enough sense to give me plenty of time to make them, he did have the sense to love them once they were made (even if one didn't fit). Here they are at the parade. The Build-a-Bear float is in the background.

I told you all about my Sprinkles socks and the alterations I made to the pattern. So all I have to report now is that they are done and I love them!
Here is a good close look at the patter, but the colors are a bit off.

I wanted to go up a needle size for Hubby's socks since he wanted the same pattern as Dad's but when he tried them on, they looked a little strained. I decided a quick fingering weight fingerless glove pattern would be a good way to try out my gauge on a bigger needle so I went with Porphyria (Ravelry link) and the left over Essential in the Blue Violet Multi. They were a super quick knit, and now that I have my first pair of fingerless gloves, I am completely addicted. Expect to see a lot more in the future.
I thought that these were going to be cabled, but the pattern is made with a stitch that is similar to the Holding Hands and Feeding Ducks stitch, except this one is done on the knit side. I used a size 1 (2.5mm) needle and the ribbing turned out really nice so that is what I decided to go for with Hubby's socks.

Hubby's Brooklyn Tree Socks
Hubby loved Dad's socks and decided that he wanted the same pattern for his. So, I pulled out the Brooklyn Tree Pattern (which is actually called Francie but I call it Brooklyn Tree when the intended recipient is a man) and the Essential in Buckskin and cast on.
This is as far as I got before I decided that they seemed a little big and had Hubby try them on. Sure enough, they are too loose and I am going to have to start over with a Size 1 (2.25mm). Since we had guests and they were residing in our living room, I didn't want to have a frogged yarn mess lying around and getting in the way. I just set these aside and picked up one of the many other WIPs from my basket.

The project I picked up, I was hoping would become a baby blanket for some friends back in AR who recently announced that they are expecting. Since I am on a strict yarn diet, I am stash busting the CottonTots that I have left from a couple other blankets that I made. I love the colors of this yarn and it just begs to be baby stuff. I've been working in a make shift log cabin like pattern from the center out, and trying to just keep the project square.
That way, when I run out of yarn, I don't have to worry because the project is square and can be complete. Well, I've run out and it is only about 22 inches square. I can't decide if I should send it to them or not. It is no where near large enough to be considered a blanket, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be useful. I think it might be a great diaper pad, or maybe it could be thrown over a car seat. I could go ahead and send this to the animal shelter as another kennel pad, but I intended it for the baby, and I'm not sure when I'll be able to buy a blanket's worth of yarn. I just don't know. Those of you that have had children (and those of you who haven't but have an idea), what do you think? Could you have used a knit square, or would it just be a nuisance?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Catching Up: The Sights

Our parents left yesterday evening, so hopefully, I'll be blogging with a bit more regularity again. I had a fantastic time while they where here, and we used them as an excuse to do some things around the city that we probably would have put off otherwise. Here is an update on some of the stuff we went out to do over the past week or so. (Remember you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.)

First, before our parents actually arrived, we went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We showed up around 7:15-7:30am and I can say with confidence that it was not nearly early enough. We were far enough back that I couldn't see anybody unless they were on stilts or a float, but I don't think I missed too much. We did luck out that we were close enough that we were on the line where people started putting kids on their shoulders. If we had been behind that line, I don't think we would have seen anything but the balloons. It was cold, and crowded, and I had an absolutely wonderful time! Unfortunately, our camera batteries started acting up so we had to conserve. I only have pictures of balloons for you.

Just for the record, Ronald McDonald was completely creepy and Buzz Lightyear was my favorite. For more Macy's Parade fun, you should check out this Time article.

Friday is when Mom and Dad showed up, so Saturday is when we had our huge Thanksgiving feast. On Sunday we all headed downtown to see Wintuk.

I have always been a Cirque fan. I would say that this show is the most kid conscious one. It is hard to really say. Almost all of them are family friendly and great for kids, but this one seemed to pay particular attention to what is best for kids in a performance. There was a clear storyline, and English narration for it. There was a clear obstacle to overcome and each of the scenes or performances (I'm not sure what you would call it, but the different segments where each of the awesome skills are showcased) had a catalyst for the transitions. I thought it was a great show and a wonderful family event.

Since Mom is a quilter and I am a knitter, we headed to Purl in SoHo. They have one shop full of yarn and fiber supplies and another half a block down full of fabric and sewing supplies. They were both cute shops overflowing with color and nice people, but they were tiny and selection was a little low. Neither of us added to our stash, but Mom did grab me the new KnitScene.

We spent all day Tuesday in the city starting with Australia and dinner at the RUB. Then, as it started to get dark, we headed to 5th Ave. to check out the Christmas store windows.
The Bergdorf windows were a little odd. They were very pretty in mainly white and silver, but all of the men, had animal heads.

We walked all the way down to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and the ice rink.

Does it look a little lack luster to you? You would be right, and it is because the tree was lit the day after we were there. I confess I didn't do the research and planning that I should have and I pouted about it for a little bit. The Cartier building helped to cheer me up and another building near it had a flashing snowflake light show that brought a smile back to my face.

Saks was on the way back up the other side of 5th Ave. Their store window was a fantastic story about a snowflake named Mike who dared to be different. They are selling the book of the story and part of the proceeds go to St. Jude's. We had a lot of fun there because Hubby goes by Mike. Mom found a sign that said "Mike made snowflake history. (His mother was so proud!)" The whole store was full of fantastic family photo ops that I messed up because I couldn't work out the lighting so we have a bunch of pictures of brightly light display windows and a dark shadowy figure that resembles my husband. Finally I gave the camera back to Hubby so we would have at least a couple successful pictures.

Before we left downtown, we stopped at FAO Schwarz. I picked up some Christmas gifts for the triplets (since I don't have any kids of my own to shop for), finally got to take a look at the Muppet Whatnot Shop, and met up with some old friends.

By the time it was all over, we had spent almost 12 hours in Manhattan, and we were ready to drop. We spent the next couple days recouping and eating. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get you caught up on all of the fantastic knitting that happend while Mom was here enabling me.