The World According to Marney

Tuesday, December 24

Well, I decided to pop in for a brief MERRY CHRISTMAS! I can't say that I have been doing much to complete my goals for this vacation. But at least I am having a good time. Right now I am checking in on Ayelet's cat, Melody while Ayelet is away visiting her family. I would also like to add that congratulations need to go out to Ayelet for landing herself a job.

Tonight the S-n-B is going to be a bit abreviated due to the holiday. So, instead of our usual cafe (which is closing early tonight) there will be Indian food. I am definitely looking forward to that!

That being said, I don't think I will be checking back in until the New Year. Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 20

One last thing. I put together a list of my New Year's Resolutions for 2003 to share with you all. I can't say that I am one of those typical "I will lose weight" or "I will stop smoking" kind of people. I really like the idea of seizing the day to make myself better, happier, healthier and so on. If I think of anything else I would like to include, I will update later.

Happy New Year!

Not much knitting done last night. I did give my friend, Scott, the hat that I made him for his birthday (in August). I don't see him much since he is out on the tour of The Producers (flash site). I have to say, it was really great to see him. Now I have to go another 3 months or so before he comes back.

I know that I mentioned DailyCandy. Well, today's newsletter talked about the "lateste trend" in jewelry. For all of you fiber-holics, you should know that the Wooloop will give you a reason to wear felted wool on your wrist. That's right. You too can wear a ring of wool that you felt yourself "in the shower" and be called hip. Who needs precious stones anymore!!!

My loopiness is coming to a close for the year. This will probably be my last update before the end of the year (maybe). I hope everyone has very happy and healthy holidays. May the New Year bring much happiness to everyone! Fa la la la la - la la la la.

Thursday, December 19

I am counting the moments until my holiday "vacation." No, I am not going anywhere. No, I am not doing anything special. No, I don't even have any set plans. I am just not going to go to work for almost 2 weeks. It's almost like I'm back in school again with this kind of vacation. I think I can truly dig that.

Things I hope to accomplish while I am not working:

1) Work on Aran sweater
2) Sleep late
3) Thoroughly clean my apartment (closet, and other disasters that have begun to take over everything)
4) Sleep late
5) Read the book for the Book Club, The Awakening by Kate Chopin
6) Sleep late
7) Relish the fact that I am not in the office

That should be enough goals for 12 days. Anything else would just be a bonus.

In other randomness, I get a daily e-newsletter from Daily Candy that tells me about all kinds of wacky stuff going on in NYC, the internet or whatnot. Today's newsletter caught my eye. It was talking about BlacksocksUSA which sells "SockScriptions". Not that I would be someone that is in dire need of socks, but the idea of having socks delivered on a regular basis intrigued me. Come to find out, you can get 3, 4 or 6 pairs of black, cotton socks sent to you every few months for a pretty reasonable price. Then again, if I really get en fuego, I could probably make that many socks in that amount of time. But that would take a lot of knitting.

Wednesday, December 18

I just had the strangest thing happen to me. As I was typing in my post (which is now totally gone), my screen magically jumped to another blog. Very peculiar. I think there may be bugs living in my computer.

Last night's S-n-B was quite fun. It was another small group, but definitely a lot of fun. As I first got there, Suzanna and Liz were engrossed in the bag that Suzanna was working on. Come to find out, they were trying to figure out an i-cord bind off. I had never done that before but I had figured out i-cord so I joined in. The pattern was a bit cryptic (at least in our minds) so we tried quite a few times to get this down. Finally, in an epiphany, it all came clear. So, happily, we were able t figure it out without the help of others. Let me tell you, I won't forget how to do that now. I have this uncanny knack to remember things so much better and more quickly once I figure out how they work and why they work. That may be when someone asked for a kitchner's stitch reference, I was able to rattle that technique off the top of my head. I think that has something to do with how cables come easily to me as well. Maybe I should have gone into a much more analytical field, like engineering or something.

After the i-cord bind off, I went to work on my aran sweater, until Deb came in with the project I will be making for her new knitting book. I have to admit that I am really pretty excited to be making something that well be published for the rest of the knitting world to see. I won't talk about it too much, at least until the book is published. But I think I should be finished with it within a week, at this rate.

Not much else is going on here. Maybe today will be much more interesting.

Tuesday, December 17

My latest project
What a weekend! In some ways, I was a total bum. In other ways, I was very productive. Other parts of my weekend were completely fun filled. First things first. As you can see from my picture, I have started my aran sweater. This is a project for me. I decided to make up my own design. I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with the sleeves. I am using the Cascade 220 in Oatmeal that Mom & Dad got me for Christmas. I am very happy with my progress so far.

Marney and Arda with Santa
Sunday night was the annual Dodger holiday party. The Dodgers are the producers that I used to work for, before I joined the insane world of finance. (Yes, I am insane.) Nevertheless, I still go to all of their parties and have never been let down by a single one of them. My legs are still sore from dancing for 3 hours straight. I love the parties with all of the theatre folks. There is always a dancing partner (read chorus boy) with fabulous rhythm and great moves to whisk you off your feet. Why did I leave this world??? Anyway, I brought my friend Ardra with me. She has been going through a bit of a rough time. I thought a little theatre fun might just get her mind off of some of the painful things she has been dealing with for the past week or so. A little dose of Santa never hurts, either!

Other than that, I really spent the rest of my three day weekend relaxing. I feel totally invigarated today and ready to get through this week. I couldn't tell you the last time I felt this good, really.

Friday, December 13

I don't have to come in to work on Monday!!! No, the Transit strike is still looming over our heads. It's just that the one person that was scheduled to be here in our department found out he could take the Staten Island Ferry to midtown. Marney gets to sleep in!!! (I won't tell you how many websites I went to in order to find this info for him. Aren't I helpful?!?!)

That makes me happy. I'm leaving now.

I finished my white elephant gift scarf last night. I can't say that I am upset that I am giving it away, but it came out really nice, for a quick, lacy, white, acryllic scarf. I actually did garter stitch for 2 feet and about 11 inches wide. Then in the bind off, I droped every other stitch and pulled. The scarf grew over double the length and shrank a little in the width. I don't know if it is entirely appropriate for a man's gift as it is a bit on the lacy side, but most of the guys here are married and can share the wealth with their wives.

It looks like I am off to see the new Star Trek movie tonight. I have to admit that I have a little bit of an ongoing thing for the Star Trek universe. I have watched the various series since I was really little. I had a crush on Wesley Crusher (let's face it, I still have a bit of a thing for Wil Weaton - it's one of my irrational crushes) throughout his stay on Next Generation. One boyfriend that I had would not get through a weekend without catching The Next Generation reruns, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I could probably tell you which character belongs to which show but I am definitely not one of the Trekkies. (Said boyfriend informed me that they prefer to be called Trekkers. - No wonder he's an ex!) In any case, I figure this little hobby of mine may not be so appreciated by my more cinematically discerning friends, so when the offer came from (please no hate mail for this one) Mr. Peanutbutter, I couldn't say no.

This weekend should prove to be a fun one. I have 2 holiday parties I can attend on Sunday night. I'm not sure whether I should go to the one that will be tons of fun or the one that could provide potential (although possibly unlikely) job networking. I suppose I could go to both, but I probably will only hit one. I guess we'll see when Sunday comes.

Thursday, December 12

This Friday, our office is having a holiday luncheon. One of the exciting events sceduled for this party is a White Elephant Gift Exchange. We are supposed to find something that we already have lying around that we don't use or want but someone else would to bring in as a gift. Well, as I looked around my apartment, I couldn't really find anything that I felt comfortable pawning off on someone else, except yarn. Mom sent me a skein of Red Heart Super Saver in white that I didn't know what to do with. So I decided to try the Magic Scarf pattern where you drop every other stitch when you bind off. That way it can be quick and not so plain. I'm already about halfway finished.

All the talk here in the office is about the pending MTA Transit Strike. If this strike happens, the buses and subways of NYC will stop services as early as midnight this Sunday. I generally don't take any form of transportation to work so it won't have a major effect on me. But if it happens, there will be restrictions on all cars coming into and going out of NYC of having at least 4 people in them at all times, taxis will have to take multiple fares, and additional ferries will be running. The one thing that will truly affect me is if there is a strike, I have to come into the office on Monday. I am scheduled to take that day off but since I am one of 2 people in my department that lives within walking distance of the office, I have to come in if no one else can. GGGGGGRRRRRR!!!!!! It's not like I would be so much help if that does happen. I mean, I don't do what anyone else does here.

Wednesday, December 11

It was an intimate group last night at S-n-B. I have been missing everybody, even though I was only gone for one week. It was good to be there in the midst of my fiber-licious friends. I spent a big chunk of time de-tangling a ball of the Debbie Bliss Cotton Silk Aran for the cable shell I am reworking. After that was back together, I managed to get past the arm hole bind offs last night and start in an the back shaping. My sister may have this back in time for the opening of her salon next month. I even tried it on already. It is still in the short/non-tunic length realm but it clearly comes down to the waste band of my pants. I may add a bit of length to the arm hole section (not too much) just for good measure.

Tonight is the much put off meeting of the book club. We have been reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen for the past 2 months. We delayed talking about it last month due to the fact that no one hod finished reading it. We put it off for an additional week because there were a couple of us out of town last week. Now, we are faced with actually discussing this book. To be honest, I have not finished it. I tried to get reading in on my long flights across country but I didn't make it to the end, or even to the halfway mark. I did get much further than if we would have met last week. I think that should count for something. Maybe I'll do better with the next book, The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I tend to get into "classic" fiction more easily than contemporary fiction.

Mary Jo's Swirlie ScarfAyelet's Cable Scarf
I also am going to pass off the alpaca scarves that I have been making to their respective owners tonight. I know they will be going to good homes.

Tuesday, December 10

As I was walking to work today, I saw something that caught my eye. I admit, like many New Yorkers, I tend not to pay a whole lot of attention to the crazy world around me as I walk down the street. Well, I was passing through Rockefeller Center and I saw a man giving a pep talk to 3 camels. That is something you really don't see every day. On top of that, no one else seemed to notice. Maybe we can use them in the case of an MTA strike that could happen next week. Imagine camels taking the place of subways!

Last night, I started to take apart the purple cable shell that I brought back. It was knit in the round with no actual seams (three needle bind off on the shoulders) so it was pretty easy to take apart and pick up stitches again. I have about 2 extra balls of yarn left over. That should definitely make it long enough. I was also surprised at how quickly I picked up on the stitch pattern again. It all came back to me again pretty quickly.

Tonight is S-n-B night. I will actually be able to make it there tonight. Yeah! I have 2 projects with me; the purple cable and the graduated rib sweater. Both are done in the round. Maybe I will start converting all sweaters to knitting in the round. I really like the idea of not having to sew anything up at the end. I guess I am just spoiling myself.

Monday, December 9

Back to the grind. I survived the cross country travels without too much problem. I am very happy to be back in non-travel mode. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing my family and spending time with them, but cramming in so much into just a short trip is much more work than it should be. Now, I need a vacation from my vacation.

I don have some pictures of my visit. Mostly from the last day there. I gave the family their holiday socks. Dad wore them straight out of the box and showed anyone that would look down at his feet. Dad wearing his socks
(Notice the beautiful gold shag carpet, circa 1972.)

Meanwhile, Mom got the sock bug (thanks to a little elf that visited last week). Not only did she start the socks that I sent her for her birthday (June), but when we went shopping for yarn, she picked up yarn for another 2 or 3 pairs. Here is her first sock just past the heel.
Mom working on her sock
She started one on Wednesday evening. By the time I left on Sunday morning, she was starting the second sock. She just sent me an e-mail saying she is now past the heel of sock #2. Go Mom!

In other family news, my sister is graduating beauty school this week. She will be taking her licensing test and opening a new salon with one of her fellow students all in the next few weeks. Saturday, the town of Ridgefield, WA had an open house/holiday meet & greet for the local businesses. Since that is where my sisters salon is at, she and her co-stylinst, Renee, dressed up the very empty shop and met with the locals.
Dragonfly Salon
They are opening up the first week of January. Good luck, Amy and Renee!

In knitting news, I got some Cascade 220 in Oatmeal to make myself a big aran sweater. I am still trying to decide on a specific pattern. I think I may make up my own, or at least partially. Suggestions are thoroughly welcomed.

I took back the purple cable shell from my sister so I can lengthen it for her. She has issues with a cropped top after giving birth three times. Whatever. At least it is not something that she will need to have for a while, thanks to the weather. I think I can finish that before spring.

My graduated rib sweater is coming along nicely. The body is 1 1/2 inches from the sleeve attachment length. One sleeve is almost at the right length, as well. Of course, I am running out of yarn. I need to make another stop at The Yarn Company soon so I can keep this going.

The most heartbreaking knitting news is about the leopard socks. As I was afraid of, the socks are too narrow. They don't fit on Hailee's feet. Of course, she is very upset by it. I didn't find out until I already made it back to NYC. If she sends them back to me, I can rework them to be a bit looser. Maybe I'll use bigger needles this time.

All of the other holiday gifts were well received. The socks seemed to fit and the Barbie clothes were drug around the house. I guess that means they liked them.

I think that brings me up to speed. I guess I better get back to work now.

Saturday, December 7

Today is my last day here in the PNW. I am really ready to go home. It's been good seeing people back here, but I think I am ready to get back to NYC.

While I was here, I showed my mom how to make socks (she turned the heel last night!), saw my niece, Hailee, in her first play, spent quality time with all of my nieces, and got a bunch of headway on my graduated rib sweater (pics to be uploaded later). Today, I will probably make a field trip to a LYS as well as get to see my sister's new beauty salon. She is not quite open for buisness but should be ready to go next month. So, anyone out in the Ridgefield, WA area that may be looking for a new place to get your hair cut, you may want to check out her new salon (of which I don't yet know the name).

on that note, I am going to get myself going out here. Lots to do today. Then back to the snow in NYC tomorrow.

Thursday, December 5

Well, here I am in good old Vancouver, Washington. I'm on my 22nd waking hour of the day. Eyes are barely open, right now. Must sleep soon.

The flights out here were relatively uneventful, if you don't count the repeated delays because of weather. More over, I was very bold about bringing my knitting on-board. I thought I would be sly and pack 2 carry-on-able bags. One with my bamboo needles (cotton sweater) and the other with anything that might raise a red flag (metal needles, darning needles). My intention was to try to bring them both on as carry-ons. If one got stopped, all questionable items could go into one bag to be checked. Not only did I get through the x-ray machine without anyone slowing down, but I was chosen for the "random" search of all my belongings and no one stopped me. So, I contentedly finished the cable scarf for Ayelet. I can cross one more project off my list of UFOs. I am now down to the graduated rib sweater and the fingerless gloves. Not bad.

Tonight, I went with Mom to a candle party at my cousin's house. Grandma Dolly and I made it into our own S-n-B. Grandma was working on some beautiful socks. I had started Mom on her first pair of socks before we got there, but she decided not to bring them along. Oh, and there were candles there, too.

In any case, I have had a very tiring, but knitting filled day today. I think I have to sleep now. Good night.

Tuesday, December 3

Well, as you can see, I have avoided work again for the more pleasurable task of revamping my blog design. I figured I needed a bit of a sleeker look about my pages. Now I need to change the rest of them, as well. Maybe I can do that when I have some down time at Mom & Dad's house. Or maybe I will ignore work again today.

Well, I won't be going to S-n-B tonight. I still have to finish packing and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour so when my alarm goes off at 3:30 in the morning, I will actually wake up. Gotta love those early morning flights.

As far as knitting and flying goes, the official decree from the Transportation Security Administration is that knitting needles are totally kosher on planes. You can check out the Permitted and Prohibited Items in this PDF file. That's right, knitting needles are at the top of the permitted list. Just to be on the safe side, I am bringing my bamboo circulars an the plane with me, project already on them. All metal needles are being packed. I figured that would be a safer bet.

That's about it over here. I am off to get through this last day at the office for this week. I may have a chance to update from the Mom & Dad's house. If not, I'll be chatty when I get back.

Monday, December 2

The month of December is finally here. That means many things in The World According to Marney. First of all, it means that my novel writing experiment is over for the month. Sadly, I only got about 1/5 of the way to my goal. Don't get me wrong, writing 10,000 words in a month is really not much to sneeze at. At least I have a beginning. I know that I can pick it all up again at any time and give it another go.

Another December notable event is the trip back to the Pacific Northwest. I will be heading out to the Evergreen State in a couple of days to cram in as much visiting time with everyone I have ever known into 4 days. I love a challenge.

December also brings way too many holidays for one month. That leads to much chaos, irritability, rushing around, fighting crazy people that seem to be everywhere and all around fatigue. Let's face it. The holidays used to be a time of fun and joy. I don't understand why they can't be that way again. I am convinced it is a case of poor planning on a huge scale. I mean, how many people out there are trying to figure out what to get the top 20 people on their gift lists within 2 weeks? 60%? 75%? If you add that poor planning chaos to the people that seem to go out of their way just to see pretty things (holiday windows at department stores, holiday productions, Broadway shows, etc.) and are on a tight schedule, that brings the percentage of people rushing around like crazy much closer to 100%. Then, of course, there are all of the parties and festivities. That means there will be much more alcohol imbibed and wackiness ensuing. Do any of us stand a chance for survival with this phenomenal number of crazed people loose on the streets?

On a calmer note, I did some serious knitting this weekend. (It's amazing what you can do during the acts of a Broadway show!) I took apart and put back together (the right way) the red twin baby sweater. I finished the Wade sock. They are officially a pair. I worked a little on the cable scarf. I am on the last ball of yarn - about 20 cables from being finished. And I worked on the graduated rib sweater. I broke down and stopped at The Yarn Company on Friday on my way up to spend quality time with Ayelet's cat, Melody, and picked up more Cotton Classic. I also started a sleeve. I am enjoying this project. Everything is done in the round and the sleeves are added before the body is finished so they get knitted together as raglan sleeves. That means, when I bind off, it is ready to wear. (I weave ends as I go along.)

Okay, I guess I have to get to work now. Way too much to do in 2 days. I guess it's a good thing that no one is going to be here for most of this month.