Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Where on earth have I been?

At endless auditions, that's where. I spent three straight days at Theatre Bay Area's general auditions, and I've got another four days of our auditions and callbacks to go. Which brings up an interesting dilemma:

When is it okay to KIP? When is it rude?

When I was at jury duty, it was perfectly okay. I mean, people were reading newspapers, and knitting takes less concentration than that. Not that I was ever in the courtroom, just the training part.

It is perfectly okay to knit in the movies, because the actors aren't really there. However, I find it hard to knit in the dark, so I only knit when I'm watching a movie on DVD.

Auditions are tricky. I mean, I can focus on an audition when I am knitting, just like I can focus when I'm watching CSI and knitting. But what if an actor was to look out and see me knitting? That might imply that I found them dull and needed to do something else. (That implication might even be true.) It might also imply that I am casting Shakespeare productions and therefore not particularly interested in their lovely rendition of "Some Enchanted Evening," which is certainly true. But I have been on that side of the proscenium and I think it would have thrown me off to see someone knitting in the audience.

So I abstained. 24 hours worth of auditions and potential knitting time, and I only knitted during the breaks. Nearly killed me. I kept looking over at my little bag of yarn, usually while someone was butchering Cole Porter, but I resisted. I stared at the stage until my eyes hurt.

The end result is that I STILL have not finished those little blue sleeves. About three centimeters to go. So close it hurts.

Meanwhile, I haven't done much with the wedding wraps. I find myself unsure of how to proceed, and I have gone to Spinnity for her wisdom. DD has also offered up useful pattern ideas, thanks DD! J has shared lovely lacy patterns, but they are a bit complex for the short time remaining.

Where else have I been? In the surreal place known as Wedding Planning Land. I find it hard to focus on anything other than favor boxes, shoes, and Mother-of-the-Bride dresses. Does ANYONE know where to find Mother-of-the-Bride dresses that are not hideous and come in size 2 petite?

The one moment of sanity was when my SO and I abandoned the whole buying-a-house thing in favor of renting. I instantly felt more relaxed. We are signing a lease tonight on an adorable two-bedroom duplex on the Peninsula, walking distance to downtown and the park, extra-cute with little built-ins everywhere, hardwood floors, and a fireplace.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A New Year of Knitting -- January 1, 2005 in Napa. The ubiquitous Blue Cardy. My SO took this one, and I've been meaning to put it up as part of my resolution to post more photos. Posted by Hello

Something new on the needles

I had to do it, had to do something to break the monotony of Blue Cardy. So... Tuesday night I went out to a wonderful dive bar near work called El Rio for cheap margarita night, and a couple of friends and I drank several and played pool very badly (Tuesday is also free pool night). I came home around 9 still feeling a little giddy, and the LAST thing I wanted to do was take out those little blue sleeves and teensy needles.

I pulled out the slippery brown-and-green bundles of Crystal Palace ribbon yarn I bought at great expense for the bridesmaids' wraps, and I cast on about 50 stitches, and knit a few rows in the drop-stitch pattern I used for Fuzzy Sparkly poncho. Not bad! Not sure I'll keep it, not sure if I'll pull it out, definitely need to confer with Spinnity on this one, but it was nice to have great big 10 1/2 needles in my hands (my new Denise ones) and some different yarn for a change.

Back to Blue Cardy -- no fear, I have not abandoned him; in fact, I had jury duty yesterday and today (and not tomorrow, thank goodness), and one thing jury duty is good for is lots of KIP. I am advancing along both sleeves quite nicely and yes, the end is in sight.

Finally, for those who have been waiting with bated breath, I got a package in the mail from the Yarn of the Month club. The jury is still out, so to speak ;-), since I haven't swatched any of the little teeny samples, but I quite like the Two.Two Classic Elite pink wool yarn and matching felted bag pattern. The soy Phoenix yarn from Southwest Trading Co. is intriguing -- who knew they could make yarn from soy? The bi-monthly newsletter is fairly worthless. I'll bring the whole thing to the Meet-up next Wednesday so everyone can have a feel. Yay for tactile textiles!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Good luck and Meeting Up

Lesson learned yesterday: even if the yarn store says they don't have a yarn, if they're in the middle of a sale and things are chaotic, they might actually have it. Case in point: Knitting Arts DID have Rowan 4-ply cotton in 136, dye lot 7D3. It was at the bottom of a little basket on the floor. Looks like they might be discontinuing 4-ply cotton, because there were just a few balls of a few different colors. There was a nice spring green color and a pretty Aegean blue, but I couldn't think of anything to make with them. Anyway, there were more purchases to be made at my favorite LYS! Hooray for the 20% off sale!

It was a very Rowan kind of day -- I'm an English girl, after all, and we must have our Rowan. I got Kidsilk Haze in a nice light brown to make Belle Epoque from the current issue of Knitty. I got a couple of balls of black 4-ply cotton to make trim for the camisole from Vintage Knits that I keep intending to make -- I already have some pink for the main body of the cami. I also got some Tweed in a bluish-grey to make the girly ribbon-trimmed socks in the current issue of Interweave Knits. I want to make the hat to match, but they didn't have that yarn. I also got The Purl Stitch by Sally Melville -- virtually free since I had a $20 off coupon.

Then we all trooped across the street to Blue Rock Shoot for the Meet-up. A nice friendly crowd, not as big as some of our other meet-ups, but not shabby, either. There were some gorgeous yarns and impressive projects -- P's creative floor pillow using all kinds of leftover yarn gets my vote for best project of the night. Spinnity was nearly done with the entrelac socks for her birthday! C was getting started on a fluffy, warm, cuddly blanket in a combination of soft and yummy neutral yarns. M, whose taste in yarn is divine, was making a purple hat to match a scarf she already made. I, a new Russian member, had some gorgeous multi-colored wool. J, our first male meet-up member, had a great purple-and-blue scarf in a gorgeous soft yarn. There were lots more that I'm forgetting. As for me, I finished binding off the two sides of the hood and made some progress on the strip that goes down the center back. Probably could have finished it last night, but I opted for sleep instead.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Yarn Crisis!

It's official. I'm going to run out of Rowan 4-ply cotton in color 136. I called Knitting Arts yesterday and they are out. I called ImaginKnit and they don't carry that color. Luckily, I called Greenwich Yarns and they do carry it, but might not have the right dye lot. I will call back later to check. Fingers crossed, everyone!

Spinnity suggests a very good option, which is to do the sleeves in a contrasting color. I thought it might be quite cute to do cream sleeves and pockets and maybe stitch around the buttonholes in cream, too. I will not be discouraged!!

On a happier note, I just joined the Yarn of the Month club. Hey, why not? It sounds like a cool way to try new yarns on the new needles I got for Christmas from Spinnity. The January yarns look really nice, so I hope I'm not too late.

Monday, January 03, 2005

2004: Knitting in Review

Well, it wasn't one of the best years on the national front, but for me it was pretty special. The major development, of course, is my upcoming wedding which is starting to feel VERY NEAR. But second to that has to be my new hobby. I've been a knitter for six months now. And although nearly all six of them have been spent slogging through Blue Cardy, the end is in sight and I am looking forward to getting the darn thing off the needles and into finishing land. I have everything but about a third of the hood and the sleeves done now in the light blue, thanks to some heavy knitting in the Midwest. However, I am almost positive I am going to run out of yarn. I plan to run praying into Knitting Arts hoping that they still have my dye lot.

But let's leave the ubiquitous B.C. for the mo, and think about the major accomplishments of the last six months:

1. My first project, a little skullcap in Anny Blatt angora. Although not perfect, the fuzzy yarn hides most of the problems. The pattern's a little odd and I would knit it bigger next time, but I do wear it a lot anyway.

2. The matching scarf. Quick and easy with a coordinated lace pattern. I wear it constantly.

3. Fuzzy-Sparkly Poncho in Paris Nights and Softy. Gotta love this project, worked out perfectly and I wear it whenever I can. I get constant compliments and no one can believe I made it myself. My biggest personal success.

4. Ghosty. The often-frustrating but much-appreciated Halloween costume for Cutest Nephew in the Universe.

5. And of course, Blue Cardigan. 'Nuff said on that front.

Life after Blue Cardy -- I plan to do some quick wraps for the bridesmaids on BIG NEEDLES with a simple drop-stitch pattern. I hope these will go quickly and painlessly. I MIGHT design a little purse for the wedding, but my roommate just gave me an adorable vintage beaded purse which I'll probably use instead.

I got a TON of new knitting patterns for Christmas, so of course my head is teaming with ideas, but I must get this whole marriage thing taken care of first. Priorities, priorities.