The World According to Marney

Wednesday, April 30

So the spades are finished and I am close to finishing the diamonds. I may put all of this down tonight to embroider some name on my bowling shirt. I will be bowling for Junior Achievement tomorrow after work. It's a fun little fund raiser thing that allows me to make use of my bowling shirt. I have a pattern that has the words "Lucky" and "Lady". So that may be a fun little diversion in my needle crafting projects. Or maybe I will pick another fun little nickname.

Not much else to tell, right now. I didn't make it to S-n-B last night. I was stuck at the office later than I thought and couldn't bring myself to do much more than crawl home. I think it was the 983rd conversation with my boss about how I am not planning on moving with the rest of the department that tired me out. How many times can I tell him that I won't be here forever before he actually starts to believe me? The whole thing just makes me tired. The good news is they keep moving back the date to move to Westchester. That means I have more of a time cushion to find something good instead of something convenient. Of course, I don't have either of those things at the moment.

Enough about that. I am ready to get out of here and calm myself with some serious stitching. Very soon....

Tuesday, April 29

All that is left on the bikini is the strings and some elastic around the bottoms. Well, I will probably be adding some lining to it as well, just to make sure that it doesn't lose shape when it gets wet. I started out with the crocheted strings for it, as the pattern calls for, only to realize that my yarn is WAY too thin to make that worth while. I am leaning toward i-cord strings. I am not in love with that idea, though. Maybe I can find a thicker, contrasting yarn for the strings and do a little embroiedry to ring it all together. So many decisions.

Speaking of embroidery, check out what I did this weekend.

The picture came out a bit speckly. But the towel itself is a plain white. I am now working on spades. The complete set will have a royal flush of each suit. Isn' t that just adorable. I have to admit that it is rather fun to do.

What else did I do this weekend? Oh, I met up with my former roommate on Saturday. It was so good to catch up with her. I'm glad that we found each other. I really missed her, and my other roomies that are lost and gone, at least for the time being. Bernadette, Christilla and Tammy, if you are out there, give me a holler.

Last night, I went to see Cosi fan tutte at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). It was a beautifully done opera. Well, I am still a little sore from the rampant misogyny, but overlooking that, it was really beautiful. It was set in modern times which translated very well. The music was amazing (what do you expect from Mozart?), as were the voices. It was a wonderful way to end my day of playing hookey from the office.

Friday, April 25

I am really cooking with this project. I reworked the bottom back last night with the new decrease ratio and it worked very nicely. Tonight, I plan on finishing the top and starting the front bottom. After that, all I need to do is get my crocheting skills in order for the strings. If I were to do it again, I think I would use the bulky Fixation yarn instead. I'm sure that would take less time and be much closer to the gauge of the original pattern. The cotton/elastic blend is really nice to work with. It is very stretchy and knits up very smoothly. This has been a great instant gratification project for me (once I got past the initial mathematical formulas of adapting a pattern for my yarn). I highly recommend it as a portable, easy project.

I have come to the conclusion that I am really quite good at manipulating patterns. I have always been pretty good with numbers. Maybe I should have been an engineer. Is it too late for me to go back to engineering school? Then I could be one of those people that irks Ayelet (4/22 entry) with my lack of neurocognitive linguistics. But do I really think that a change into an analytical career would negate my liberal arts (namely English Lit and Communications) education? Maybe. (Think I can throw in some more 50¢ words?)

As I was typing, the mail arrived. What landed on my desk, but my new embroidery project. I am very excited about this. The problem is, the towels that came with this project are REALLY thin. I may have to make a run out to get new towels. Also, the colors of emboidery floss that were included were black blue and light gray. I find this a bit odd since the pattern has such designs as playing cards, a martini and flames. Looks like I'll have to get some floss as well. In any case, the kit came with a needle, an emboidery ring and instructions. If I run down to the The Yarn Connection at lunch to get floss, I can hit Bed Bath & Beyond after work. That way I can get this project started as soon as my bikini is finished. Yea!!!

Thursday, April 24

So I worked on the bikini last night, as you can see. I had to adjust the pattern to accommodate my yarn gauge. I think my calculations are a bit off. I started to do the top last night and discovered that I came up with the same probelm of my decreasing rows not extending long enough, so I frogged it this morning. Tonight, I will try to make my decreases less frequent on the top. I think that should do it. If the new ratio works better, I will frog the bottom and do that again, as well. If not, I'll go back to the drawing board, again. Also, I am going totally on measurements, instead of stitches, this time. It makes for a bit slower going, but a better fit.

I did have someone that works in the theatre put in an order for one. I told her that I would have to make sure that this one comes out ok first. But once the math is done, the rest is easy.

Wednesday, April 23

Yesterday, the yarn for my latest knitting project arrived from Knitpicks. That's right, I am going to knit my own bikini. I decided on a yarn that is really off gauge of the pattern for the content of the fiber. I know tha tmakes little to no sense, but then again, that is not unusual for me. I am using Cascade Yarns Fixation in navy. In hind site, I should have gone for the bulky version of the yarn but my brain isn't entirely clear these days. In any case, I like the idea of having a cotton/elastic blend for a bathing suit.

I started the bottoms last night. The strange thing about this yarn is the smell. Yes, I smell my yarns. I usually love to sniff while I am stitching. Well, I don't think this will happen so much with this project. The elastic is much stronger than anything else. Don't get me wrong, it's not digusting or anything like that. It's just elasticky.

In other news, I dropped a note at the theatre for my college roommate (Tertia Lynch) who is in the new off-Broadway play, Hank Williams:The Lost Highway. She called me last night and we are going to get together this weekend for dinner. I am so excited to see her again. It's been a long time.

Tuesday, April 22

I don't really have a whole lot to say today. I know I won't be able to make it to S-n-B tonight. What can I do. Theatre calls. At least I will be able to sit down in the lounge and knit while the show is going on. Or maybe, I'll watch it again tonight. It's been a while since I did more than just listen to it from the bowels of the theatre.

Monday, April 21

I am happy to say that Cheesy Love is currently being worn. I finished it on Saturday morning like I had hoped. But, alas, the weather proved to be a bit warm this weekend and my hopes of wearing wool were dashed. So I figured, the office is always chilly and worthy of another go at a weel sweater. I really love this sweater. I can tell that it will be a favorite when it gets cooler again.

I have come to a very disturbing conclusion. Every time I try to find specific shoes (color, style, etc.) I find that I am at least one season off. A few years ago, I was trying to find white sandals for summer, only to discover that that season's white was bone. The following year, when I was trying to find bone shoes, they had all disappeared into nothingness. Well, I found myself in a similar quandry this weekend. I have a great dress to wear to the wedding next month (the one I am embroidering towels for) but the colors in it are a dark teal and navy. Five shoe stores later, I discovered that the only navy shoes out there are over $150 (which is a bit expensive to wear with only one outfit). Now I have to start getting creative about this.

Thursday, April 17

Last night I watched A Mighty Wind, the new Christopher Guest movie. All I have to say is GO SEE THIS MOVIE. If you liked Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show, you will not be disappointed by this new cinematic adventure. I think Eugene Levy should get many awards for his performance. It's not easy to bring out a touching, sentimental side from a totally burned out character. I think I may have to watch the other movies this weekend, a Christopher Guest-fest.

Wednesday, April 16

I am going to the wedding of a couple of my poker buddies next month. I wasn't invited but will be going as a guest. Nonetheless, I wanted to get a little something for them that would be fun, unique and still functional. After thinking about it for a couple of days, it occurred to me to go back to a website that I visited a while back and thought was fun. Sublime Stitching has great embroidery patterns, kits and other stuff like that. Well, I decided to go with the "Vegas" themed kit for tea towels. That's right, I am going to try my hand at embroidering. Mom taught me the basics when I was rather young. I gave it another shot back in college when I made a quilt with embroidery on it for my neice, Hailee. I can't say that I am really very good at it, but how hard can a handful of cards be to put on towels? I say this now. Just wait until the middle of next month when I am pulling out my hair trying to get them to look right.

I can definitely get used to this weather. Today was the first day of the year that I actually left any form of a coat at home. With temperatures forecast in the 80s, I had to laugh at the wolly mamoths still walking the streets of New York, bundled up out of habit. It's been a mighty cold winter this year. And, it isn't over yet.

That being said, the CL sweater has the neckline, including the finishing, and half of one sleeve completed. I think I may be wearing this sweater to poker on Saturday night. Wouldn't that be cute??? Maybe it will bring me some luck.

Tuesday, April 15

I really meant to post yesterday. I have plenty to say, just not enough time to write. Isn't that always the way. For that matter, people have been trying to get me to shut up for years.

Anyway, the weekend was very good. I spent plenty of time in theatres of all sorts. First, I went to see Take Me Out on Saturday. I must say, I really liked this play. It is smart, witty, sincere, emotional, and moving. I thought it was very well acted and directed. The main problem I had was the very tall man sitting in front of me. GRRRRRR!!!

On Sunday, I caught a few one-acts performed by the Emerging Artists Theatre Company. It was a last minute decision to go. I guess I am trying to get back into my theatre going ways.

And then finally, I saw my movie. Well, I can't really say it's my movie since I clearly made it all the way to the cutting room floor. If you recall, last summer, I sat in Yankee Stadium with Ayelet as part of the crowd for a movie, Anger Management. So when the director told us that we would all end up on film, he flat out lied! Ok, I admit that I really didn't believe that for a minute. But it was fun, anyway. By the way, the movie is awful. I'm kind of happy that I'm not in it.

So, last night, I stayed home and made an Eggroll for my kitties. It didn't take very long, but it sure got George excited. I would have taken a picture of it, but it has already been well used. Well, I think that project was very well received. When I left for work this morning, he was still licking it.

So I found out today that there will be another cold front kicking in for this weekend. That means if I can finish the sleeves for Cheesy Love this week, I may not have to save it for the fall. That makes me happy. Well, aside from the fact that I still have to finish the sleeves

Friday, April 11

The front neckline of CL is now finished. The back is almost finished. I have a feeling that the miracle of sleeves will not materialize before Sunday, when the weather is supposed to warm up. Well, at least I am trying. Maybe we will have another cold snap before the month is out.

Not much else to report. It must be Friday if I am tapped of things to talk about.

Thursday, April 10

I was a knitting fiend last night. Not only did I do the color pattern on Cheesy (I chose stripes in silver and navy Kid Classic), but I have the front neckline started. I am hoping that I can get it done before the end of the weekend, when the weather is supposed to get warmer. I'll see about getting a picture up later on today.

I also discovered that I ordered way too much wool for this sweater. I was gauging from the yardage on the pattern and ordered 8 hanks of Cascade 220 (220 yards each). I think my math must have been off or I was totally spacing that day. Right now, I have the body almost completely finished (save the 7 inches of neckline, back and half of the front) and I have only used 2 hanks. The way I figure it, I should only use another 2 hanks, tops, for the rest of the body and the sleeves. It looks like I will have plenty of garnet heather wool to keep me busy again.

I also frogged about 2.5 inches on the afghan and lengthened the repeat panels. That project is coming along smoothly, as well. Can you tell that I had no plans for last night???

Wednesday, April 9

Last night I found out some fabulous news. I was researching a new musical playing off-Broadway, Hank Williams: Lost Highway only to find out that one of my college roommates is in it, Tertia Lynch. I haven't talked to her since graduation. I may have to drop a note down at the theatre to say hi. I am so very happy for her.

In knitting news, S-n-B was another fun evening. I got quite a bit done on cheesy love. I am starting to lean toward putting something in that charted space. Partially, because the stitch pattern changes from the 2X1 rib to stockinette stitch for that pattern. Partially because I like the idea of having a pattern there. I have the same yarn (Cascade 220) in oatmeal as well as the Kid Classic I mentioned yesterday. Both would be fine, as far as colors go. The Kid Classic would be fuzzy, like the pink hearts in the pattern. I think the fuzzy stuff would be fun not to mention livelier colors.

I also went home and worked on the afghan. I think I need to make the sections of the pattern a bit bigger than the pattern calls for. Well, after all, I am using a much smaller gauged yarn, so 3 inches in a finer yarn will make more cable repeats than 3 inches in my yarn. It's the difference between two cable repeats and five.

Tuesday, April 8

4 inches of snow later....

Rowan Handbag
Well, my handbag is finished. I even lined it with some white polka dot silky lining I had lying around. Not bad considering my sewing machine needs to be repaired. So, that means that the whole thing was hand sewn, as well as hand knit. How industrious of me. I reall like it. I think I will have to whip up some more. This could be 2003's fruit hat for me. a bunch of easy hand bags in fun colors and cool yarns.

I also got some work done on cheesy love which is about 9 inches long now. I haven't decided what to do for the heart motif. I don't think I want the hearts but do I want it to be plain? I have some left over navy, gray and burgandy Rowan Kid Classic from the sweater I made for Nolan. I could do some stripes or something. Maybe I'll just be plain. I guess I have a few inches to decide.

I am planning on heading down to S-n-B tonight. Back to my usual routine again. It is so nice to get back to normal. I have cheesy love and the afghan to keep me busy. Oh, the socks I was working on last week (fraternal twins) are currently on my feet, protecting me from the cold weather.

Monday, April 7

If I'm not mistaken, today is April 7th. A full 2 1/2 weeks into Spring. Well, look outside, and there is snow. That's right, there are reports that we are supposed to get up to 6 inches of the white stuff today. I guess my wool frenzy is still warranted. I can put off changing over to cotton for another couple of weeks (at this rate).

That being said, I didn't do a whole lot on th cheesy love sweater this weekend. Mostly, because I wasn't home much. But when I was home, I made the handbag that came with my Rowan subscription. As soon as I get it sewn up, I will post pictures. I really liked working with the All Season Cotton. Very soft and smooth. It is a bit slippery, though. I may end up using it to make that bikini that I have plotting in the back of my head. It may be snowing, but it won't be that way forever.

I made it up to The Cloisters this weekend. It is an extension of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in upper Manhattan. I have lived here for over 11 years and I had never made it all the way up there. I have to admit that I get a little overwhelmed by so much medieval religious art. But, the architecture of the building is also so much of the exhibit. There are doorways and pillars as well as the gardens that are amazingly beautiful (undoubtedly, even more so when the trees and plants are fully out of their winter dormancy).

This was also a weekend of dining out a lot for me. Friday night, I had a wonderful vegan Chinese dinner at Gobo. There was so much food, that I got to have some for dinner last night, too. Saturday night, it was some serious french fry (no, not freedom fries) action at Matt's Grill. Then, for Sunday brunch, New Leaf Café served up some fluffy waffles that melted in my mouth. Wow, that's a lot of good eating for one weekend. No wonder I didn't have any time for knitting.

Friday, April 4

With my new found evening at home last night, I got about 6 inches done on Cheesy Love. It is looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. I really love the color. Also, with the weather acting up the way it is, I may still get a chance to wear it before it gets too hot.

I really don't have a lot to report today. Have a great weekend. We'll chat again later.

Thursday, April 3

Last night was the Book Club. It was a small group that showed up but we were lively. I admit that I didn't have a chance to finish the book, although, I did read up on it (acceptable to read off the internet at work, not out of a novel) so I know about the parts I haven't gotten to yet.

We discussed Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris, the author of Chocolat. I can't say that I have read Chocolat, or even saw the movie so I really can't compare the two of them. FQOTO is very much about the dynamic between mothers and daughters. The characters are not the easiest people to like but they are believable. All in all, I enjoyed this book.

It looks like MoMA is out for me tonight. That's ok. I have been way too busy the last week or so anyway. I could really stand to have a nice evening at home.

After two attempts, I finally was able to get my package that was living at UPS. It was my first installment of my Rowan subscription. It came with a pattern for a cute little bag made out of All Season Cotton in the pale blue with a darker blue for the accents. It will be a very cute summer bag. But I don't think I really need to start another project. Or do I? After all, last night I got to the bind off row of my fraternal socks. I did a weird bind off technique on the other one so the cast off wouldn't be too tight. I need to find my notes on what I did so I can make them at least close.

Wednesday, April 2

I finally made it to S-n-B last night. It has been such a very long time. I didn't even recognize most of the people there. It was really good to get back to hanging with the Stitchers. I have really missed it. Of course that doesn't mean that I havent been knitting at all. I think that is really a given.

I worked on my fraternal sock last night. I should be able to cast off and wear them by the end of the week, provided my social life doesn't get in the way.

Let's see, tonight I have the Book Club meeting. I have managed to miss that for 2 months. Did I finsh the book yet? Well, not really. Did I try, and is there still a chance of getting some of it done before I get there, absolutely...possibly....maybe...I hope so.

Tomorrow, I am going out to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for the Matisse Picasso exhibit. I had to do a little bit of persuading last night to convince my friend (who has the connection to the private showing) that going out to Queens is really not so bad, and every Manhattanite has to do it sooner or later. I hope I convinced him enough. I have been wanting to go to this exhibit for months, but it's in Queens. I know I'm a hypocrite. I relish that.

So, I have been rather negligent on shoring pictures of my projects, so here are a few that I have in the works.

First of all, the twins:

This is a dog sweater pattern that I had to make, even though I have no dog. Please note, the colors are much brighter green and red than appears in this picture.

With me Yarn Fairy Windfall, I decided to make an afghan using this pattern

And lastly, the beginnings of cheesy love, all 888 CO stitches (only 222 for the working stitches after the first couple of rows. It should go much faster now.

Tuesday, April 1

After a month of waiting, my order finally made it to me. This was a rather arduous journey including having the first shipment lost by the post office, the second shipment returned to sender by Airborne Express without notifying me of the delivery attempts and then finally receiving it at my office. (The only reason I didn't start there was because I was going to be traveling when it was supposed to arrive and I would be home before I was at the office.)

Nonetheless, I am now the proud owner of 8 hanks of Cascade 220 in Garnet Heather for a cheesy love sweater. I have decided to not go with the hearts and just stick with the general style. Because I am a total junkie, I had to start it last night. That's right CO 444 stitches for each side!!! Well, that is just for the ruffle at the bottom. This should be a fun one.

I am officially going to S-n-B tonight. I haven't been back there since early January thanks to all of the extra hours I have been putting in for work. I hope to be able to get back to the routine of going every week again, now that my project is on hold.

Last night, I went to see The 24 Hour Plays. 10PM Sunday night, 30 actors, writers and directors got together for some initial idea sharing. Writers started writing at midnight when everyone else went home. Directors came back at 7AM to read the plays that were written, actors came in at 9AM to start rehearsals. Doors to the theatre opened at 7:45 PM Monday and the show was over by 10PM. So, I ended up seeing 6 brand new one-acts that ranged from the potentially profound and intriquing to the absurd and harried. All in all, a pretty good night of theatre.