Saturday, November 14, 2009

FO: Philly Socks

My Philly Socks saw some neglect with the influx of baby knitting. They were put on the back burner for a couple of projects, and it didn't help that one fully completed sock had to be ripped out and restarted. I didn't mind though, because I am completely comfortable with toe-up socks now. So, just over three months since their beginning, I present to you, my finished socks:

Pattern: Knotty or Knice Socks from the Fall 2008 Interweave Knits
Koigu Premium Merino (KPM)
Needles: US 1 (2.50 mm)
Notes: I love these socks. They are my second pair, and I couldn't be happier. They do remind me of my trip to Philly. I think the yarn and the pattern look great together, and they are so comfy. I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern at all. I do want to comment on the yarn. This was my first time to knit with Koigu. The yarn was great, but the color bleed all over my fingers while knitting. Since I knit these almost exclusively on the subway, I would show up at work every morning after about 20 minutes of knitting and my fingernails would be stained, and I would have an orange ring around my finger where I wrap my working yarn. The water was a bright orange after I soaked them, but the color of the socks hasn't faded at all. Hopefully it is just excess dye. I'll just have to see what my feet look like at the end of the day. Though, I'm kinda glad I didn't make a Philly Hat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Headed to the Street

Two years ago my life was changed by Sesame Street. I saw the documentary: The World According to Sesame Street, and I made the decision that I had to be a part of Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children's Television Workshop).

I've told this story before, but in honor of Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary today, I want to tell it again.

Through out high school and most of my undergraduate degree, I knew I was going to work for Disney. It started in the 90s. Disney was extending benefits to same sex couples. Amid the controversy, there were rumors that Disney was releasing books that featured having same sex parents. Scandal aside, this is when I had my personal epiphany about Disney's ability to educate. From that point on, my biggest concern about my future was deciding if I wanted to live in Orlando or Burbank.

In college I went to work for Disney. It was a six month internship, and to date it is still one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I had an insider's view to changes being made. I saw programs get cut for lack of funding. I saw other initiatives start up. What I learned while I was there is that Disney has a lot of power to educate, but it is not their priority. Disney is a company, and are by default corporate. They have a lot of wonderful programs that do great work, but if things ever got tight, they would be quick to go. Disney is under new leadership now. They continue to make decisions that I do and don't agree with.

That experience changed everything for me. I was lost for a couple years because I thought that being in children's entertainment meant viewing kids as consumers. I knew I couldn't do that, so I was looking for another path. Fortunately, a nearby college was having a viewing of The World According to Sesame Street. I had no idea what it was about, but the Big Bird lover in me wanted to go. I learned that everything I was looking for was out there. I was just looking in the wrong place. I learned about how Sesame Street started with a vision to provide preschool education opportunities to inner-city kids that weren't getting a head start elsewhere. I learned about how Sesame expanded globally to empower children around the world no matter what their needs are. I learned that there are children's entertainers out there who are advocates for imagination and love.

After a couple weeks, I had studied up on Sesame Workshop and my heart was set. A few months later Hubby and I announced to our friends and family that we were moving to New York once we finished our Master's degrees so that I could eventually work for Sesame Workshop. I am not part of the Workshop yet, but we have made it to NYC, and we love it here. I am continually inspired by what the Workshop is doing, and I will continue to search for a place where I fit in there. Hopefully, I will be able to celebrate Sesame Street's 50th anniversary as a colleague and not just a fan.

If you'd like a bit of inspiration, I recommend taking a look at some of their Initiatives, and what they do Around the World. If you just want to be nostalgic, I recommend their video library or their YouTube channel for some more recent segments. And if you would like to support Sesame Street with a birthday gift, you can contribute here: Sesame Workshop Support Us.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just a Little Something

Inspired by Stash and Burn's Single Skein September (SSS), I decided to do some stash busting and made a couple little things for my MIL. She just received her package this weekend, so I finally get to share the projects with you. (The worst part of gift knitting is definitely the required blog silence.)

Pattern: Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence
Yarn: Patons Brilliant in Mint (This was left over in my stash from my Bridesmaid Purse [Ravelry Link])
Needles: US 8 (5.00 mm)
Notes: I didn't make any adjustments to this pattern at all. In fact, it has been hanging out in the back of my head as a project to do quite some time. I thought it would be a perfect pairing of yarn and pattern for a light scarf with just the right amount of sparkle for mom, but I was always reluctant to cast on. I was worried there wouldn't be enough yarn and the scarf would turn out too short. It wouldn't be the first time I had made that mistake, so I was reluctant. I have no idea why SSS gave me the push I needed, but I'm glad it did. This turned out to be one of my first projects that turned out just a great as it was in my head.

Pattern: Quincy by Jared Flood (pattern is at the bottom of the link)
Ozark Handspun Ozark Companion (This is a beautiful yarn that was gifted to me by some great friends.)
Needles: US 10 (6.00 mm)
Notes: I absolutely love Jared Flood's new book Made in Brooklyn. In fact, I love just about everything he does. I try to make Hubby wear his Koolhaas as often as possible because the fan-girl in me is convinced we'll bump into him while we're out, and it will be a great conversation starter. So, I never would have guessed that I'd be making a major alteration to one of his patterns. Sizing adjustments and a little bit of math reworking, sure, but dissecting his pattern to the point that my FO looks nothing at all like what he clearly intended, I did not see that coming.
I set out with every intention of making Quincy a hat just like intended. I loved every moment of the built in i-cord. I made the twist for my mobius and did the seaming.
Then, instead of moving right along and picking up stitches, I had to pause and put it on. I was struck by what a fabulous cowl it made. I turned to Hubby for his opinion, and in his adorable geekiness he was immediately caught up in the mobius fun. Once he learned that the the twist would become stationary and no longer free to move through out the strip, he was against the idea of a hat.
In the end, the deciding factor was remembering Mom commenting on my Ear Cozy during her Thanksgiving visit. I don't remember exactly what she said or what
her reasons were, but I remember her saying that she would like something like that better than a hat. It also made a great, pony-tail compatible, ear cozy. At that point, Quincy's fate was set. I've been thinking about starting another one and carrying through to make the whole hat this time, but I think I'd probably get caught up in the exact same spot. Fortunately, I have far too much baby knitting to do to even worry about it right now.