The World According to Marney

Thursday, August 29

I am probably one of the very few people that is happy to see rain today. Being a native Washingtonian, I always feel more in my element when there is precipitation. There is something very soothing about hearing cars drive through puddles and watching rain fall. Maybe I am just strange. That wouldn't be the first time I came to this conclusion.

I worked a little on the second sock for Kelsee and the beaded scarf for Hailee last night. I have decided to have a gradation of beads so there are more at the ends and fewer in the middle. It gives a kind of raindrop effect. I really like the way it is turning out. I need to find a camera so I can share pictures on-line.

Wednesday, August 28

Last night the S-n-B started out a bit small. I guess it's understandable that the last week before Labor Day would take people away from their normal routine. Meema brought in her flier for one of the upcoming Smiley's Yarn Riots held this week in Wayne, NJ. Due to my recent financial trickiness and having a lack of transportation to the "lovely" Holiday Inn in Wayne, I think I will have to miss this one. I guess that means I will have more energy and money to spend at the Yarn Riot in Manhattan in December. That one is only 3 blocks away from my apartment. That means I can buy a lot without having to worry about how I am getting it all home.

I did have another serendipitous encounter last night. My friends, Juan and Gene, happened to stop by the Java N Jazz while I was stitching and bitching. I haven't seen them since earlier in the summer.

When I got home, I had a message waiting for me from a couple of friends who had seen mice in their apartment. They were asking if I would bring over one of my feline friends to help out. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that even though George (my resident hunter) is a tough guy, he turns into a bit of a baby as soon as he leaves my apartment. Just one evening would probably not do any good. Between him hiding under a couch and other noise detering rodents, I think they would need to have him there for at least a week. I have a lot of faith in my little monster, but I would hate to have him think I have abandoned him at a strange apartment. If only life were more like cartoons.

Tuesday, August 27

The past couple of days, I couldn't keep myself from starting new projects. I would get a thought in my head and have to start it. Last night I started sock #2 for my niece, Kelsee, for Christmas. I had put it on hold because I needed those needles for another more timely project. With the Fruity Booties finished, I could go back to the socks. I got just past the ribbing when I decided to try my hand at knitting with beads. So I put down the sock and picked up some mint green acrylic baby yarn and started threading seed beads onto it. Thus far, it is pontetially a scarf for my eldest niece, Hailee. I think it will be very cute. I may do a hat to match, maybe gloves. We'll see how far my vial of beads takes me. I like the way that it has just a little bit of sparkle. Just enough to be fancy but simple enough that she could wear everyday.

It is killing me that these projects are in my bag at my feet and I am forced to sit at my computer instead. Can't wait until S-n-B tonight to get back to beading.

Monday, August 26

I definitely caught up on my knitting over the weekend. It felt good to get back to the needles. Saturday afternoon, Jackie and I hit the knitting stores of the Upper East Side. We hit Knitting 321, Woolgathering and the Lion and the Lamb. Neither of us had been to any of these shops before. It was rather enlightening to see that the same size Addi Turbo Circular Needles (US #4 - 20 inches) cost $15.00, $10.50 and $13.50 in these shops, repectively. It's amazing how going up to the East side can bring prices up substantially.

Here's a little run down on my impression of these shops. Knitting 321 is a relatively new shop. It is small with a large table taking up much of the front of the shop. The woman that runs the store is very friendly and helpful. Jackie was looking for a large number of balls of yarn for an afghan project for her mother. This woman started digging through all of her inventory to see if there was enough of the brand and color Jackie liked. Most of the yarns were very tactile and lush. You won't find a skein of Red Heart within a mile of this place.

The Woolgathering was a bit of a disappointment for me. I had heard good things about this shop. The woman that was "helping" everyone was terse and abrupt unnecessarily. There were only about 5 people in the store, mostly browsing, and she was trying to herd us out. There was a wider selection of yarns here. More acrylic as well as some boutique brands. I don't know if I would go out of my way to go back there.

The Lion and the Lamb was a little more broad in the items available. This is a great place for needlepoint supplies. Back in the yarn alcove, there was another snippy woman "helping" us. Heaven forbid should I notice that the hot pink Jaeger yarn was so far from the palette of colors of the other balls of that brand and think it's funny. Obviously, yarn is very serious.

I ended up getting some mint green seed beads at the Lion and the Lamb for a Barbie tunic and pashmina combination that I had been working on. After this weekend, it is finished, including the beading. I also added a few inches on my alpaca scarf, a pair of Fruity Booties in cornflower blue, finished half of Dad's Holiday gift and started the second half. There, Betsy, have I regained my status of knitting fiend.

Beyond all of that, I spent some quality time with Jackie and Ty, her new dog. We even met his cousin in the park. That's right, there is another giant, mutant Bichon in the city. They were very happy to meet each other. Of course, Ty is very happy to meet most dogs and people.

Friday, August 23

Yesterday was not a good day for me. I found out in the morning that my corporate credit card number (not the card) had been stolen. I spent a good chunk of the day putting fraud notices on my credit report, getting new cards issued for my bank account, and putting holds on all accounts that could possibly be affected. Not the best way to spend a day!

I didn't have a chance to get any knitting done last night. I guess I will have to catch up on the weekend.

Wednesday, August 21

Yesterday was probably the most chaotic day I have had in a very long time. Not only did I have a friend flying into town and have plans to celebrate Jackie's birthday, but I had to make sure her gift was ready to go. I know I am insane and I have insane friends, but I think we have outdone ourselves. We gave Jackie a dog for her birthday. That's right. About 6 of us pitched in on this mad venture. Me being the brain behind it, Ayelet being the gung-ho cheerleader, Mary Jo and Erica being the foster home and the rest giving support to our insanity. For anyone that thinks they may be a future recipient of such a gift, I have decided to NEVER do this again! The budding ulcer that I have contracted from this experience will deter me. In any case, we had a fun, if not speechless at times, evening. I even managed to deplete the S-n-B gang a bit by diverting them to celebrate with Jackie.

On a less stressful note, my friend Judy came into town for an entire 24 hours. In that time, we picked up the dog from the groomers, did a little shoe shopping, walked all over town, surprised Jackie, hung out at the Soho Grand hotel, had dinner in a Village Cafe, mailed her postcards from Scotland (don't ask), wandered around Central Park and shipped her back off to the airport. Not bad for a short trip.

In the meantime, I managed to break the point off of my #4 straight needle while I was at the airport. So much for catching up on soome knitting.

Monday, August 19

Contrary to the suggestions of my fellow knitting fanatics, I did not bring my knitting with me to the concert on Friday. I'm really glad I didn't since we were at Jones Beach which is an outdoor stadium. Just our luck, it started to rain between acts. Not only that, but I probably would have used my needles for evil to keep the pre-pubescent boys in front of us in their seats. Don't get me started....

I had quite a series of random, yet serendipitous encounters with friends over the past couple of days. On Thursday, I ran into a guy that I had met a couple of weeks prior as I was walking around mid-town at lunch. Later that day, as I was walking home, I ran into a friend of a friend a block away from my apartment. Saturday night, after a day of fervent cleaning, I was taking my garbage down stairs (around the corner, down the street to my garbage receptical) only to hear my name called out from a group of people standing just outside of the bar next to my garbage area. A friend and potential knitter (she has come to the S-n-B a couple of times), Jen, was hanging out with some of her friends. Of course, I appropriately so, looked like I had been cleaning all day in an un-air conditioned apatment. Finally, a friend from the theatre world and the neighborhood was passing by my block on Sunday. I remember the first time I ran into someone I knew on the streets of New York. I realied that I had finally achieved the status of New Yorker. I guess I have really made it now.

Well, a friend from back home will be stopping in town for a day tomorrow. This is her first trip to visit me since I moved here 11 years ago. Of course, it is a visit tacked onto the end of a two week trip to England, Ireland and Scotland. It's still better than nothing. So, I wan't be going to S-n-B tomorrow night. For that matter, I won't be psting for a couple of days, either.

Friday, August 16

Last night, I met a few friends at the They Might Be Giants Concert at SummerStage in Central Park. It was a fun evening. We decided to sit outside behing the grandstand instead of battling the crowds inside. It was definitely a funn evening.

Tonight, I will be going to see the Goo Goo Dolls at Jones Beach with some other friends. That should be a fun concert as well. They are playing with Vanessa Carlton and Third Eye Blind. I can't say I am terribly well versed in any of these bands but it's a chance to get out of the city for a couple of hours and hang out with friends.

Oh, Betsy, I didn't knit last night, either. I probably won't today. You definitely better mark this down.

Thursday, August 15

I have no knitting to report today. I did none last night. Sometimes there are other things to do I guess.

I do have good news about a friend of mine. Diana, a former coworker and very good friend, just found out that she got a fabulous job in original television programming at HBO out in LA. She has been tryingto get work in LA for about a year now. Right now she is still here in NYC but she will be heading west by next month. Congratulations, Diana!!!

I have come to the conclusion that my cats can tell time. This morning, Koshka woke me up less than a minute before my alarm went off. This is not the first time he has done this. He always seems to know when I need to get out of bed. He even lets me sleep in on the weekends. Well, if Koshka is my alarm clock, George is my snooze button. Not 10 minutes later, George decided to get in on waking me up. What would I do without these monsters of mine?

Wednesday, August 14

Last nigth at S-n-B, I finished a sock for Kelsee (4-year-old niece). It came out cute with the bright colors and the glow-in-the-dark heal and toe. I think she will really like them. One of my fellow S-n-Bers suggested I make something with the glow-in-the-dark yarn for my nieces for Halloween. Wouldn't that be great!

After talking about the big hat and scarf project, I think I have the right idea. There is no way that I could possibly make that many in that short of time. Not to mention, even if I used other materials, I think the lowest I could quote would still be around $90 per set. Although I have not talked to this woman, I have a feeling that may be a bit on the steep side. Moral of the story is knitting is not cheap.

Tuesday, August 13

Yesterday, I got a couple of sketches for a potential knitting gig. In an ideal world, I would love to make these hats and scarves for a girls' soccer team. BUT, problem #1: They want 40 sets by December. For some strange reason, I don't think speed knitter over here can do that many hats and scarves for shipment in December. In any case, I put together a chart for the scarf (they want WOLVES and stars on it) to get an idea about what they want. If I do say so, the chart looks good and would definitely be plausible. Problem #2: This isn't really a problem just a bit odd, they want everything done in Tahki Cotton Classic. I feel really weird making so many cotton hats and scarves. Shouldn't there be something in there for warmth??? Anyway, I went home and tried the chart with some left over Cotton Classic. It works well (for a cotton scarf) and would give a 4 foot by 9 inch scarf. I figure that it would take about 5 skeins of yarn per scarf with the left over and 1 more skein for the hat. That means for supplies alone, we are taking about $24-30 per set. I don't really know a going rate for time and "talent" when charging for projects. I have heard that 3 times the cost of supplies is a good price. So, they are looking at $90 cotton hats and scarves. To top it all off, I would most likely only be able to do about 10 sets by the time they want them. And that would be postponing my projects. Yes, Jackie, I have already factored in going to work and having a bit of a life.

With all that being said, I am bringing my swatch, chart and sketches to S-n-B tonight to get further opinions. I would even be willing to share this project with someone if they would be up for it. I would totally do it but the whole project is way too much for me.

Monday, August 12

I spent what little time I had for knitting this weekend on holiday presents. I am determined to get these things done before the holiday season. Right now I am about 1/2 through the gifts for my family. Well, at least it is only August.

The heat is back today. Last night I did not sleep well at all. I don't think I will be able to get through today without a nap. I have a ton of stuff on my mind. Add that to an over active cat and brewing heat and there is very little sleep in the mix.

There is not much to talk about today. I guess I'll conserve my energy.

Friday, August 9

In my need for some instant gratification, I put aside all of my Works in Progress last night and started (and finished) another fruit hat. I got some beautiful blue Egiptian Cotton from The Yarn Connection the other day. Now, it is not exactly blueberry blue. It's more like cornflower. So I made a cornflower-berry hat for a friend back home that is expecting. I figured that I could whip up some booties, too. It gave me great satisfaction to finish something since my projects tend to take a bit longer than my usual quicky projects.

I am going to get a little bit current in this log. I saw on the Today Show this morning that there is a new law in the state of Florida regarding putting unborn children up for adoption. Basically, if you are a woman that does not know the identity of the father of your unborn child you are legally required to put an ad in the local or regional newspaper describing yourself (complete with your name) and your sexual encounter to elicit a response from the father. This means you have to let the entire community know all of the details about your encounter and possible names of men that could be the father through the newspaper. I am horrified by this law. I can't believe that any state legislature would think this is a just and logical way to find the father of a child. To make things more contriversial, women do not need the father's consent to have an abortion. Which situation would you rather face? The community knowing the details of your sex life or a private abortion. I can't believe that lawmakers, especially in such a conservative state (need I remind anyone of the anti-gay adoption law they have down there?) would not take this into consideration.

I'm jumping off my soapbox now.

Thursday, August 8

The book club went well last night. We clearly did not have as much to say about this book as previous ones. Before we knew it, we were a bit distracted by other topics. Nevertheless, I got quite a bit of knitting accomplished during the discussion.

Prior to the meeting, I must admit that I played a little hookey from work. I had an appointment that I thought would take much of the afternoon but only took 20 minutes. So I briefly thought about returning to the office but then I remembered that I was only a couple of blocks from The Yarn Connection. I won't even try to tell you that it was a tough decision. I also called up Ayelet who wanted to get some shopping done in the same area. My office didn't stand a chance of seeing me for the rest of the day.

All in all, I think I needed a bit of a mini shopping spree to brighten up my spirits. I have been feeling a bit lethargic and not quite myself for the past couple of weeks. The combination of the beautiful weather, skipping work and spending money were just the right combination to bring me back around.

Anyway, I got some Regia Ringel in the color "Clown" for more Christmas socks for my nieces. I tried to find a brown and a tawny gold sock yarn for leopard print socks but I couldn't find the right color of tawny. I guess I will have to keep looking.

Wednesday, August 7

Last night at S-n-B, I was able to put in some time with my Stitch Doctor Internship. As Deb, the resident Stitch Doctor was not there last night, I stepped up to the plate. First, I showed Meg how to sew up her cardigan seams and how to pick up stitches for the collar and button band. Then, both Debbie and Jackie had varying degrees of emergencies. I must say, I can totally see how Deb got so into fixing mistakes in knitting. It is rather rewarding and kind of fun.

I got a little progess on the scarf. I'm hoping to get some quality knitting time in tonight while we talk about our latest Book Club book, Paris to the Moon. Don't worry MJ, I will not be distracted by it. Of course, I have a few more pages left to finish which shouldn't be a problem since I anticipate being stuck in a waiting room for much of the afternoon.

On my walk home last night, I got a chance to talk to each of my three nieces on the phone. I have to admit, I was rather impressed by Kelsee (the 4-year-old) who held her own in a phone conversation with more than just one word answers - unlike her older sisers (Hailee - 8, Sydnee - 6). I can't believe how fast they are growing and maturing.

Tuesday, August 6

I spent most of the work day yesterday working very closely with our IT guy. Now, my computer is missing all kinds of things and has to be set up again to my specifications. Sometimes I wonder if computers are actually a benefitial part of society.

As far as knitting goes, I didn't get a whole lot done last night. I did come across an unfinished washcloth that was lying around. I decided to make a mismatched set of 4 washcloths for myself a few monts ago. Two are completely finished and in use, one has to have the ends woven in and the last is only about 1/2 way finished. I should probably get that finished just so I can have my set complete. The idea behind them was to have 4 washcloths made out of the same yarn, in the same size with different stitch patterns. That way they can be uniform without being the same. Kind of like me.

I am looking forward to S-n-B, even though Jackie won't be there. I will be giving finishing lessons tonight. Hopefully, by the end of the night Meg will have her cardigan finished or at least very close.

Monday, August 5

My brain has melted from this heat! I am counting down the moments until the big thunderstorm rolls in and brings the cooler weather with it.

Despite the heat, I didn't slow down my knitting over the weekend. I have a bunch of yarn that my mom sent me a couple of months ago that I still hadn't figured out what to do with it. There is some pale gray and white acrylic in a worsted weight that I thought was pretty. I realized that I had never made mittens before. So with that, I pulled out the old Big Book of Knitting . It has a whole bunch of formulas for socks, glaves and mittens. Of course, all of the numbers are based on a much thinner yarn. Nevertheless, I made a few adaptations and within a few hours, I had my first pair of homemade mittens. (I really need to get a camera so I can show off all of these fun things I am making.) I also worked a little on my scarf. I found it terribly ironic that in the sweltering heat, I decided to make accessories that I won't get any use out of for months.

My mom is lso trying to arrange something with a colleague of hers to give me more cold weather gear to create. I believe that it would be a batch of scarves and hats for a girls' soccer team. Since there could be quite a lot of them that they want by November or so, I should probably hear about it soon in order to get it all finished in time. I may knit like a maniac but I still am only limited to 24 hours in a day, like everyone else.

Friday, August 2

Well, I didn't get any knitting done last night.I spent a lovely evening hanging with friends in a rather Sex and the City way. I guess it is not unusual when you get four single, urban women together. Our one male companion didn't seem too flustered by the array of colorful topics. Although, when we first started talking, I think he was a little surprised by our candor.

This morning on my way to the office, I stopped by Rockefeller Plaza to hear Carole King play on the Today Show. Granted, my dislike of crowds kept me across the street so I wasn't really close enough to see her but she sounded wonderful. I can't say that I have ever stood outside of the Today Show before. It's one of those things that tourists do, I guess. I generally try to stay clear of those types of spots.

Thursday, August 1

I got a taste of the potential commute for my job yesterday. As my office will be moving to New Jersey sometime within the next couple of months, walking to work will no longer be an option for me. Right now, it takes me 25 minutes to walk to the office, ironically 25 minutes via bus or subway, too. My commute to Jersey City would entail 2 trains and a bus to get to the building, racking up 1 hour each way and about $1,800 of commuting costs each year. I could also take the ferry which would be faster but more expensive. I am really not looking forward to that, at all.

Nevertheless, I went out there yesterday to take care of some issues regarding this database that is now taking over my life. I am starting to wonder if I should change my title to database specialist! The good thing about all of this is that I got some quality reading time in on the trains, buses and boats I was on yesterday. I should be finished with the Book Club book in time.

On a knitting note, I figured out what stitch pattern I want to do my for my scarf. After trying about 7or 8 different possibilities, I found a pattern in my favorite book, Vogue Knitting on the Go: Vintage Knits. IT is actually a pattern for a shawl that I am adpting to a narrower scarf. It has just a hint of laciness which is really what I wanted.