The World According to Marney

Friday, November 29

I hope everyone had a good Turkey Day. Mine was fabulous. I spent the evening with friends, John and Aaron, as well as some other Thanksgiving orphans. Being the amazing host that he is, John even cooked a Tofurky for me this year. I have to admit that I have been a little hesitant to try this soy concoction. The name sounds a little scary. But, I have to admit that it was pretty darn good. It came with Tempe "drumsticks", wild rice stuffing and gravy. I have to admit, it was a pretty good substitution. Don't get me wrong, it is still not turkey, nor will it ever be turkey. It has the taste of a processed turkey roll. I can't be so kind in describing the drumsticks, though. Not a big fan.

Before my big jump into the big soy dinner, I spent much of my day knitting up a storm. I finished the blue twin baby sweater. It was only after I did this one that I realized that I put the red one together backwards. I put the button band on the wrong side of the neck. That would explaine why it looked so lopsided. (You can't really tell in this picture but the sleeves not matching up with the stripes on both sides were the dead give away.) The blue one came out beautifully. So, being the crazy perfectionist that I tend te be, I began taking out the finishing, button band, collar and such from the red one. It is now back in the original pieces, for the most part. At least I know what I am doing now.

Today is a short day at the office. I am going to head uptown to kitty sit for Ayelet. She is away visiting her family and asked me to spend time with Melody. I figured I could go up there in the afternoon after work and work on the Wade sock. That needs to be finished before next week. All other projects need to be put aside until that one is finished. That is my decree today.

Well, I do hope to stop by a yarn shop today for some black Tahki Cotton Classic for my graduated rib sweater. That will be the project I will take with me back to Washington. Well, I was also thinking about taking back the shell I made for my sister's birthday. She was not so thrilled with the cropped factor of it. I still have a ball and a half of that yarn. I could add a few more cable rows and make it a little longer for her. I really wanted her to be able to wear it. I don't know if I will be able to fix it while I'm there or have to bring it back with me. Well, it is a shell, so she probably won't need it for a couple of months anyway.

Well, I think I have rambled on enough for this post. I will go and kill time until the market closes and I can get out of the office.

Wednesday, November 27

So, we did get some snow out here today. Well, I should say that snow fell. Nothing in this area stuck. I guess there was a little bit of accumulation North and West of the city. So, basically, we won't be having a white Thanksgiving here. That's okay, I guess.

Last night's S-n-B was fun as always. I made some headway on the cable Scarf while I was there. Although, I realized that ribbing, cabling and chatting are not the best combinations. I had to redo plenty of stitches and cables. Oops. I think I am back on track with all of it though.

I also picked up the twin baby sweater that I have been avoiding. All that's left now is one sleeve and the finishing edges. Oh, and I need to get buttons for both of them.

Not much else happening here. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukah!

Tuesday, November 26

So, I am a bit late in posting pictures. I thought I should get those up today before I forget completely.

This is the fingerless glove that I adapted from the J Crew-Style Gloves pattern. I am thinking about adding the mitten cover a la the Broad Street pattern found in (If you haven't gone there, check it out.) So this is what I have so far:
Fingerless J Crew Glove

My other work in progess is the Wade sock - pattern from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. I am just past the heel on the second one. I hope to have it finished before I get on the plane next week. But here is what the first one looks like:
First Sock for Wade

I am really looking forward to S-n-B tonight. I missed the last two weeks due to work and other dramas in my life. I think I really need to have an evening of knitting with my buddies. I deserve it. It makes me wonder how many people will be there tonight because of the holiday week and all. My guess is it will be very intimate. Of course, I won't be able to go next week since my flight is at the crack of dawn on Wednesday. Well, at least I have today.

Monday, November 25

It's hard to believe that I am back in the office again. This weekend was so busy but so very needed. I very happily spent all weekend working at Hairspray the Musical. I really miss working on Broadway. Just being in the theatre made me happy. I may have to rethink this whole corporate world thing. Maybe I could find another producer that would want a competent Assistant Company Manager as an apprentice. Well, I'll have to think about that one. The down side of being there is I have all the songs stuck in my head!

In any case, I decided to make the alpaca J Crew-Style Gloves into fingerless glove with a mitten cover. So far, I have finished one (sans the mitten part). I think they will be spectacular. Nothing like the warmth of alpaca combined with the warmth of mittens. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

One very bright part about this past weekend, because I spent it working, I now have some extra yarn money in my pocket. I think I may have to do a little shopping before my trip home. After all, I do need to have some project on the plane.

Friday, November 22

One more update today.

Mom (a regular World According to Marney reader) decided to take advantage of my time off I was boasting about and talk me into going back home for a brief visit in a couple of weeks. That means I would be in the same general area as Shetha and Carolyn (sort of). That's right, I am off to The 'Couve and Portland the first week of December. It may not be the most exciting place in the country to winter but it's still home.

I have officially decided that The World According to Marney will be brighter today, despite the rainy skies outside. I spent some quality time with my feline friends and my knitting last night. It was the perfect way to get the funk out of my head, or at least start.

So, instead of going on any further with the Wade sock, I decided to start a new project. I know that I have 4 UFOs stacking up, but I was a bit inspired by Cindy's list of UFOs that I thought, I could use a little bit of variety as well. So I started J Crew-Style Gloves with my Classic Alpaca that I picked up last month. These are for me, mostly because my gloves are really wearing through. I should have enough for the hat and the gloves in both gray and off-white.

In other good news, I have finally passed the 10,000 word markon my novel. Although, at this point, I am not really comfortable calling it a novel since it really does not make any sense and has no linear structure to it. It's really 10,000 words that I have been writing and may someday become a novel. I have had quite a few people offer to read it. I'm sad to say, that it will be a lot longer than the end of the month before it will be in any state to be read. Maybe, if I can get some semblance, I will post a bit. Maybe in the New Year.

I have decided to take some considerable time off of work in the month of December, mostly because if I don't I will lose my vacation days. In fact, there is only 1 week for the rest of the year that I will actually be in the office for the entire week. I really like that idea since I could really use a vacation. Anyway, I figure that will be a good time to get more writing or even editing done. And knitting. And cleaning of my closets. Who am I kidding? I am going to sleep late, watch horrible daytime TV and play Chrono Cross on my Playstation. Well, maybe I'll try to be productive.

Thursday, November 21

I really don't have a whole lot to say today. I am emotionally exhausted. My heart goes out to all of my co-workers who are now amongst the ever-growing ranks of the unemployed, especially here in NYC. It may have been 4% of our work force to the powers that be, but it was thousands of people that are now going to have some very lean holidays. On top of that, one of my very dear friends was is a car accident last night. Thankfully, she is okay and in the only car of the five involved that was still left driveable, but very shaken up, nonetheless.

On to brighter news, I did get some more on the Wade sock finished last night. I should be able to turn the heel tonight. I should post the picture of the finished sock. maybe a bit later today.

Wednesday, November 20

It's 4:00 and my department is in tact. It looks like they are hitting IT, marketing and our brokers. Let's just say that morale, which has fallen significantly over the past year is really at an all time low.

Wish me luck. Today is the big blood bath with layoffs here at work. Nothing like a happy Wednesday just before the holidays.

Tuesday, November 19

This morning's rant has nothing to do with knitting writing or anything like that. I was walking to work this morning through the rather crowded streets of midtown Manhattan when I was thoroughly taken by surprise. On 51st Street between Third Avenue and Lexington (for those of you unfamiliar to NYC - imagine sidewalks packed with pedestrians as well as streets filled with cars), just as I passed the entrance to the subway, I noticed people moving out of the way on the sidewalk for a car! Now, this was not a car that had one or two tires on the sidewalk but was driving between the building and the pay phones! There are no drive through windows in this area (I have only seen one in all of Manhattan). The subway entrance was clearly going to be an obstacle for this car, let alone the people jumping into traffic to avoid being splattered by this moron. Granted, the car was barely creeping along but that was no excuse. Finally, as he neared the subway, there was a break in the parked cars on the side of the street that he swung out through and got back on the road. The saddest part of this entire experience was the sheer number of New Yorkers that barely even noticed it was happening. Did I mention that this took ploce across the street from a police station?

Ok, I think I have calmed down a bit.

I did get a couple of rows done on the Wade sock last night. I also managed to get another 1000 words or so out of my head. I'm still going way too slow to reach my goal. But, check out the people that have already finished. They all have my respect and sheer awe. I hope to get there soon. I need to get cracking! I'm off.

Monday, November 18

I guess it is really the holiday season. I have been getting requests for theatre tickets all over the place. Not that I have a problem with making arrangements for people, provided I know them and am willing to call in faver for them. This morning, after I had set up tickets for 42nd Street for his wife's birthday next month, one of my co-workers gave me a thank you gift of a necklace. I was really taken aback by that. Well, granted, I did also give him suggestions for a hotel and restaurant for this particular event. What a sweet guy!

Other than that, I finished the swirlie scarf last night. I did my first attemt of grafting on it. I decided that I wanted to add a few inches to the middle of it. That would be the downside to having color work in specific intervals. So I figured out how to unravel a couple of rows, knit up a few inches and then kitchner the two pieces together. I think it was prett successful. That means I have one more finished project out of the way. Oh, I also finished sock #1 for Wade. The second one is already on the needles. Watch out Christmas, you won't be sneaking up on me this year.

Where do I stand now with my UFOs? Let's see...

1) Cable Scarf - just over 1/2 finished - slowly but surely plugging away at it - the weather is getting cold and poor Ayelet will start freezing soon.
2) Wade Socks - one down one to go.
3) Twin Baby Sweaters - I haven't touched these in a week. My boss informed me that he and his wife were in birthing class all weekend. Ok, if they are getting ready for the babies, I should be getting close, too.
4) Graduated Rib Sweater - I need to get some more yarn for this. This one is low on my list since there are projects for others that have more of a deadline.

Wow, I only have 4 WIPs right now. I wonder how that happened.

I should touch on the writing I have been doing as well. Friday night was a good writing night for me but the rest of the weekend was not nearly as productive. I got another thousand words down. And yes, it is true; I am writing everything by hand. I have found that I feel much more free to express myself with pen and paper. I love being able to scribble out thoughts that don't go in the right direction and write comments or expanded thoughts in the margins. I must say, I have a true affinity for pens and ink. I am not fond of ball point pens or ultra fine tipped pens. There must be a nice thick, flow of ink that requires some drying time, like from a fountain pen. That is writing. Typing doesn't give me the same fluidity of thoughts and ideas that the more primative form does. I also like the idea of carrying around my little notebook with a pen stuck in the spiral. I know, I'm weird. Obviously, I can still communicate in the more contemporary form as I babble on endlessly here in the internet. My flowing ink doesn't translate well on the computer monitor.

Friday, November 15

Last night I was en fuego. Not only did I get some quality time in on the Wade sock, but I also wrote over 2000 words. I just kept writing until my hand started to cramp up. That's right, I now have over 6000 words on paper. I am really feeling this right now. In fact, I feel like I should be writing all day today instead of working on the stuff they pay me to do.

This weekend should be fun. I am planning on a little poker with friends tomorrow night. Not that I am any good at poker or that I like to lose my money but at least there will be fun and a lively crowd. Maybe I will even learn something.

Anyway, I am off to sneak in some more writing befroe anyone notices.

Thursday, November 14

Wade's Sock

Not a whole lot is going on over here for me. I worked on my Christmas present for my brother-in-law, Wade last night. As you can see, I am just about to turn the heel. This is a pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. I am using Brown Sheep Wildfoote Yarn in Master Grey and Geranium. These should be good camping socks for him. The only problem I have is I don't know what size shoe he wears. I like to make socks that fit and are not just a generic size. For that, you can buy socks at the store. Mom, if you are reading this, could you be my detective on this one? Thanks.

I am in work denial again today. There is no one here in the office with any authority. I guess I will be working on revamping my gallery. Hopefully, it will get finished today. When I am done with that, I can start writing. Have I mentioned how much I am not happy with my job? Maybe I will even get some quality knitting time in today, as well.

Oh, notice the stitch marker in the picture. That was hand made by a fellow S-n-Ber, Jessica. Not only does she spin, knit, tat and everything else related to fiber, she made a whole bunch of stitch markers for the gang out of some beads and wire she had lying around. She really amazes me!

Wednesday, November 13

I can't say that I felt particularly productive yesterday after I got a screaming phone call at work from my psycho landlady about the cat food incident. I tried to explain what happened to her but she only wants me to buy a $200 litter box. (Try to see logic in that somewhere.) Can I just tell you how much I hate trying to talk with this woman? Talk is the wrong word. She only screams. Even if there is nothing wrong.

So, I decided to lay law last night and skip S-n-B. I didn't do much. I did get in another 500+ words written. It wasn't much but I found that I can write that much in about 45 minutes. So maybe I should just dedicate about 3-4 hours a day and I can knock this puppy out by the deadline. So my grand count right now is 4000 words. Only 46,000 left to write.

Not much else to say right now. I'm going to try to avoid phone calls for the near future, though.

Tuesday, November 12

Last night was an evening of knitting and writing. I am pleased to say that I have officially written over 1600 words last night. And that was between 10:30 and midnight! Once I get started, I really can't stop. To be honest, I wonder if I feel better today because I got some writing done.

Well, as you can see, I snuck up some pictures last night of my latest projects. I was really surprised how quickly the second sock went. To answer Andy's question, these socks were indeed made using two separate color yarns. What may be a problem is there is very little stretch around the leg or foot of these socks due to the fair isle stranding in the back. Maybe I will throw that pattern up on this site at some point. I guess that means that I have to actually make it coherent. Arrgh! If you could see the paper that I was working off of, you would understand the immense translation that has to take place. I think my fellow S-n-Bers who saw my sad yellow legal sheet can attest to that. Maybe I should just scan that in and see who can figure it out.

Last night, I started the last of my holiday projects. I decided that I really need to get these things behind me. My goal is to finish before Thanksgiving. That way I can focus on stuff for me!!! I am also planning on revamping my gallery page today. So, Jackie, I don't think I will be really early to S-n-B. I should be there on time tonight.

I think I am going to look through my writing today and see if I can't find some piece to post on NaNoWriMo. I am really starting to get into this now. Only a week and a half late!

Monday, November 11

Here are my pictures from this weekend's productivity:

Hailee's Christmas socks

Kelsee's Washcloth

All weekend long, I was battling headaches. Both the figurative and the literal. To help with the literal kind, I stayed in all day Saturday and caught up on some knitting. I finished the leopard socks (picture to post later today). That's right, both of them are finished. I am glad to have those behind me. I also realized I need to do something for Kelsee's birthday this coming weekend. I thought I would combine something hand made with something store bought. I made her a special washcloth with heats on it (picture to post later today, too). I figured I would pair it up with some fun soap and stuff. The washcloth is made of the same yarn that I made my collection of washcloths for my bathroom. (Earlier project - making washcloths that looked similar from the same yarn but with different stitch patterns.)

The figurative headache came when I discovered that a can of cat food exploded on the shelf yesterday. I had never seen that hapen before. The smell was beyond disgusting. Nothing like cleaning up fish gravy on a Sunday night when you just want to go to sleep. Of course, it took me a couple of hours to discover where the smell was coming from and what it was. If I never smell fish again, it will be too soon. The noxious smell is one of the reasons I don't give my little feline friends canned food very often.

Well, I am going to see what I can do about dealing with the literal headache that I have at the moment. Maybe I should buy stock in Advil after the past week I've had.

Friday, November 8

I have decided that Blogger is eating all of my posts. This is the 8th time that I have tried to post and it disappeared. How I adore technology.

I am very happy that today is Friday. This week has been rough on me. I am feeling much better, thanks for asking. I still think that I would benefit from a couple more days of rest before I try to tackle the world again. Of course, there will be no sleeping in for me tomorrow. I will be back working with the kids at the Harlem Children's Zone. No field trip this week. I think that is a good thing. That would probably wipe me out. I think I can handle working on reading and writing skills.

I donĂ­t have a whole lot to talk about in the knitting world. I worked on my graduated rib sweater last night. Well, this morning, it occurred to me that I need to get the holiday gifts finished within the next 6 weeks. That means I have to focus more on the leopard sock and less on my new project.

On that note, should we count the number of Works In Progress that I have now?

1) Leopard Sock - about 2/3 finished with the first one
2) Swirlie Scarf - about 3/4 finished
3) Cable Scarf - just over 1/2 finished
4) Twin Baby Sweaters - red one needs buttons, blue one is about 2/3 finished
5) Graduated Rib Sweater - only 1 1/2 inches into it

Thursday, November 7

I didn't think I was going to make it through the work day yesterday. I am convinced that I am experiencing a reaction to the Flu Shot that I got last Friday. I have felt run down and achy all week. Someone else chimed in that they get these kind of reactions to the flu shot as well. The ironic thing is, I can't remember the last time I ever had the flu. I rarely get sick and when I do, it is rather minor (unless it becames that dreaded Acute Bronchitis).

Well, I went home and decided to relax by starting one more new project. (I have officially lost my mind!!!) I decided to make the graduated rib tank from Knitter's Stash for myself. I am going it in BLACK Cotton Classic. This is a little bit of a challenge for me since everything is done in the round and the sleeves join the body before you get to the neckline. It also gives me a break from cables and plain stockinette.

In other fun news, I just got The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits today. It's got some basic patterns in there that are quick and simple. Since I like to "adjust" patterns, this book has basic patterns that can be tweaked. Not only that, but it was written by the owners of The Yarn Company, which is one of the local yarn shops. The other day, I figured that it is probably the closest to my apartment at a mile and a half away. (I need to get a yarn store in my neighborhood!!!) By New York standards, that may as well be in another time zone. I digress.

I think I am going to look into one of the three ponchos patterns for me. They should go quickly with bulky yarns and big needles. Yea!

Wednesday, November 6

Well, I took yesterday off due to many reasons (most of which are pure rationalizations - some are entirely valid) so I didn't get a chance to give any updates. I think the biggest reason why I couldn't bring myself to work yesterday was I can not stand coming in any more. I am bored out of my skull for the most part. When I finally have something to do, everyone in the department interupts me for no apparent reason. I really need to get out of here before I go postal.

In brighter news, I did make it to S-n-B last night. It was really good to see Deb after her hiatus from the group over the past few weeks. Her "Dad Sweater" is really beautiful. I got through most of the front of the second baby sweater last night. Of course, the scatter brain that I am, I left the pattern at home so I could only go as far as the beginning of the neckline. The good news is I have most of it finished. The rest of the night was dedicated to the cable scarf. Don't get me wrong, I think it is coming out beautifully but I think that my current scarf projects will be the last scarves for a while. I am getting rather bored with the same patterns over and over. Not only that, but I think I have to start working on some projects for me. With the holiday presents and Barbie Clothes and fruit caps, and such, I need to stop making stuff for everyone else.

Tonight is the monthly meeting of the book club. We have gotten into a bit of a slump this time around. We were supposed to discuss The Corrections by Jonathn Franzen. After talking it over and realizing that no one has finished this book, we are still getting together to NOT DISCUSS THE BOOK. I must say, I love the fact that all of us vote on everything for this group. It makes it much more fun when everyone participates in the book selection process as well as the running of the whole show. So, our game plan is to gie us all another month to finish this book before we chat about it. I guess that means I need to get past page 10. Can you say way too busy to add one more project into my life!

Speaking of projects, I am nearing 2000 words with my little novel. Yes, it is the 6th and to stay on track, I should have been this far on the 1st. What can I say, I'm trying. Maybe I need to take the entire month off of work so I can fit in all of the other projects in my life. That is the best idea I have had in a long time. Oh, I do have a working title for my novel, A Storm in Every Port.

Monday, November 4

What a weekend! I got a phone call at work on Friday afternoon from a friend from back home. This was someone I have known since we were in the 2nd Grade. Of course, being 3000 mile away from each other, we haven't really stayed in touch for the past 11 years. In any case, Shelley called me to tell me that she was going to be coming to NYC for the weekend on her way to a business trip in Buffalo. She was scheduled to arrive on Saturday. Here's the slight problem, she didn't get a hotel because she couldn't afford the NYC rates so she was going to stay with her friend, Kirk in Queens. Well, her husband was not too keen on that idea so I offered my apartment to her. Well, that kind of threw my game off for the weekend. So much for getting things done as planned.

I did get some writing time in on Friday night. I am happy to say that I have about 2,200 words under my belt. Granted, I am still quite a ways off my mark at the starting gate. At least I have a bit of an idea of what I am writing about. You know, focus is a good thing.

On Saturday morning (well, actually all day long), I spent time with the kids from the Harlem Children's Zone. We took a total of 31 kids (ages 6-13) to the New York Aquarium at Coney Island. It was a lot of fun. This was the first field trip for this group. I think it went well, with the exception of the transit snafu getting back on the train. So many small ears to cover up from such bad language.

Well, when Shelley finally made it to town, I found myself hanging with her and her two rather attractive friends, Kirk and Jason. There are many worse ways to spend a Saturday night. On Sunday, Shelley and I got tickets to see Urinetown (warning Flash site). I had seen it on Opening night last year. I'm very glad that I got another chance to see it. If you haven't seen this show, get over the title and see it. It is hilarious.

The bad part of my crazy weekend was I totally forgot about the birthday party for Debbie until it was too late. I really wanted to go but I can be a total space cadet these days. I'm sorry, Deb! I hope you had a fabulous party! Happy Birthday!

That being said, I did get some knitting time in on all of my projects. Not much since there are only 24 hours in each day. But my mom sent me some new knitting books (via Shelley) for me to play with; Knitter's Stash: Favorite Patterns from America's Yarn Shops, The Knitting Stitch Bible and Reflections Knitting Journal. Yea!!!

Friday, November 1

Oooh, I'm bleeding
So this is killing 2 birds with one stone. You get to see my new 'do as well as my neck wounds that scared my office. I can't even tell you how many people in my stuffy office were 1) scared, 2) surpised and 3) amazed that I would go to all the trouble of "dressing up" for Halloween. I personally don't look at what I did as much of a costume. Quite frankly, it was only an accessory to allow me to be more creative in my tedious day. Again with the creative outlets.

The director of my department too great pleasure in walking me around the office asking unsuspecting coworkers for a bandage. None of them actually looked at me before digging in their desks for band-aids. Only after they found one did they realize that my wounds were more severe than a paper cut. It was a few moments of amusement.

More fun came when I met up with Tyler and Ayelet to watch the parade. Tyler, fresh from work and passing out literature for his Republican election nonsense, decided that his three piece suit was actually a costume of a Lobbyist for the NRA. Sadly, that was the scariest costume of the evening. Ayelet described her costume as "an unemployed geek with big boobs and wavy hair" to quote her blog. Although it was crowded and a bit cold, we stuck out much of the parade toward the end of the route. We were all very excited to see Jackie and her friends as the graveyard. Lots of fun.

Well, because of the holiday excitement, I got no knitting in yesterday. For your knitting fix, here is an article about the fastest knitter.

Oh, today is day one of my novel writing. I already have 200 words under my belt. only 1400+ to go to reach today's quota. Maybe I should start counting these words. Wait, I am wasting valuable novel writing time here. Gotta go!