The World According to Marney

Thursday, May 29

It is only Thursday and I have a Shawl (no picture because it's blocking in my shower - creative blocking methods by Marney to follow) and a purse

Wedding Purse

to go with the rest of the outfit. (The shawl has the same stitch pattern as the purse.)

So, I re-bound off the shawl last night with a much stretchier method. I can't believe how much bigger it got even before the blocking. But then I was faced with the whole blocking problem. I have a shawl that takes up more space in my cosy apartment than any given surface except the floor. There is no way I was going to let my feline friends nest on my brand new shawl as it blocks so I had to be a bit creative. Now, this is definitely not the best way to do this, but it worked for me in a pinch. I got out about 3 skirt hangers, you know, the kind that clip onto the hem. I clipped them to the top of the shawl (one on each end and one in the middle) and hung them on my shower rod, with the shower curtain keeping them from scrunching together too much. That was great for the width but to stretch out the length, I had to be even more crafty. I got a couple of wire hangers from the dry cleaner. (Please don't tell Joan Crawford about this.) I dangled them from the bottom point as weights. I think I should try to balance out the rest of the shawl so it doesn't stetch only toward the middle. Maybe I'll tweek it when I get home. In any case, it's a shawl.

So, I now find myself without a harried project to work on. I mean, I still have my aran sweater and my yarn fairy afghan, but they are not very portable. I may have to spend the long weekend NOT KNITTING. What is this world coming to??? I am waiting on some yarn for the baby blanket I was asked to make on behalf of a friend. I hope it arrives today. If it doesn't I won't be able to start it until Tuesday. I think the deadline for this blanket is the 9th. Please laugh along with me.

Wednesday, May 28


That's right. This morning, I found a box on my desk with the fruits of my month long search for shoes. They are even the right color and size. I think I need to take the rest of the day off to celebrate this amazing moment. Okay, maybe I'm a little over excited. I guess it just adds to the purse overlay that I finished last night and is currently blocking. I also figured out how to bind of with enough stretchiness to block properly. I found some tips on a website (that I currently can't find - but I'll post it when I do find it) that helped point me in the right direction. I did the K2, slip both stitches onto the left needle and K2tog method. It was perfect for this project. I think I'll re-bind off the shawl with this so I can get a better block.

Tuesday, May 27

Well, the Shawl is finally a Finished Object. Kind of. I mean, in blocking it, I realized that my "loose" bindoff was not nearly loose enough to allow for a proper "sever blocking." I may re-bind off the edges to see if I can get it to stretch the way it's supposed to stretch.

After that came off the needles, I started an overlay for a purse to match the shawl. This is going very quickly. If it turns out the way I want it to, maybe I'll put the pattern up on my pattern page. Maybe I'll work on a comprehensive chart for this puppy.

I am hoping this week will go quickly for me. After all, it's only a 3 day work week - with no one around, again. But then again, I'm at the theatre two of those three nights. I still have to finish the purse and tweek the shawl before Friday. I can do this. I just won't sleep. It's overrated anyway.

Friday, May 23

Well, I broke down and ordered shoe over the internet yesterday. I really didn't have a whole lot of choice. I saw a few pairs at that could fit the bill. After much hoping and wishing that I will be able to get the correct size, sight unseen, I ordered these in "New Navy"

On the bright side, I just got my tax refund back so that's where it went. Thank you IRS for being there for the funding of my footwear.

I got almost halfway through the border of the shawl yesterday, between my knitting lunch with my S-n-B buddy, Meg (ok, that wasn't productive due to the necessity of taking out everything I had done) and a little bit of time after work, before I met up with friends for dinner. Today's project is to plot out the adjusted pattern for the purse overlay and start it up. I think it will be a pretty simple clutch with a zipper. Although I do like the envelope styles, too. A decision has to be made today so I can get it done.

On a much sillier note, I thought I would pass on a link for all of you that are in need of some creative swear words in your daily life. Or maybe you are looking for a new favorite expletive. Please be fully warned that this link is not for anyone that may be offended easily.

Happy Memorial Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 22

I can't believe that this is really May. The weather today is more like October. Rainy, chilly, gray, yucky. To top it all off, there is no one in the office today, which makes me just want to leave. I don't really think that will be happening, though.

I would like to post a little update on my quest for navy shoes for this rapidly approaching wedding. Last night, after work, I went to 15 stores to look for shoes. I went to Bloomingdale's, Nine West, Aerosoles, Naturalizer, Payless ShoeSource, stores that only had a pair or two stuffed in the back room, storefronts that pile all of their stock boxes in the middle of the floor, stores that had f-ugly shoes that started at the price of $250, clothing stores that had mannequins wearing attractive shoes (only to find out that there were no shoes sold at the store), and STILL I have no shoes for this wedding.

On the bright side, I am working on the border of the shawl which means I will be done by tomorrow. Also, in my travels last night, I picked up some navy cotton/lycra lining fabric. I have decided to make a smaller square of the shawl's lace pattern with the left over yarn and use it as an overlay for a handbag. This will bring the navy and teal of the dress together in the bag as well. Although I won't be wearing any shoes at this wedding, I will have perfectly matching accessories. The cool thing about all of this is in total, the price of my shawl and purse will run me under $20. Now, the amount of work that has been put into all of this is quite a bit more than $20 worth. Crafty girl strikes again!

Tuesday, May 20

What to talk about today? Well, I could talk about the Science and Art panel discussion I went to last night at 2econd Stage Theatre. There was quite an interesting discussion about Mary Zimmerman's Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci with a physics professor from Columbia - Brian Greene, a neurobiologist from Harvard - Margaret Livingstone, Mary Zimmerman and moderator, Leonard Lopate of WNYC. Or more over, about the use of science in artistic endeavors. I have to admit, this is something with which I really have a connection. I'll delve into that areana at some other time.

Or, I could talk about going to see Monday Night Magic. I have to say, I have not really given magic a whole lot of thought, or credit, for that matter. But, being of open mind and adventurous spirit, I agreed to an evening of magic. Well, I wasn't blown away by the acts. But, it was a fun night with a few laughs. Not for one moment did I believe that Simon Lovell's straight jacket was "standard police issue" or even a challenge to get out of. Nevertheless, I can appreciate everything on that stage for the pure entertainment value. After all, what is theatre but magic?

Or, I could talk about my culinary experience at Big Nick's Burger and Pizza Joint. This is the only place I have ever eaten at with a 28 page menu. I am really at a loss for words with this place. What they lack in quality of their food and charm of their service, they make up for in the number of options you can choose.

But, I don't really feel like talking about any of those things. I guess I don't have a whole lot to share, this morning.

Monday, May 19

It was a rather productive weekend with my shawl. I am currently down to 2 more patter repeats before I start with the border. It is starting to feel like I have been working on this shawl forever, even though it has only been about a week and a half.

This weekend was the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival. That means for the past two days, there were thousands of people milling outside of my apartment building from about 7AM to 7PM. It couldn't have happened on a more beautiful weekend. It did pose a bit of a challenge for those of us that just like to continue on with daily life. Navigating through the throng of drunken festival goers with a very large, very full bag of laundry was definitely not something I plan on doing again, any time soon. Although, there was hardly anyone at the laundromat.

I would like make a little shout out to my buddies at Hairspray (flash site). Congrats on winning 10 Drama Desk Awards last night out of the 13 nominations. The wins include Marissa Jaret Winokur as Outstanding Actress in a Musical in the role of Tracy Turnblad, and Harvey Fierstein as Outstanding Actor in a Musical in the role of Tracy's mother, Edna. The Tony Awards are coming up in about 3 weeks when they are up for another 13 nominations. I think this is definitely the year of Hairspray.

Friday, May 16

Alright, I lied, I do have something exciting to say today. I found a new site that may be of interest to all of you crafters out there; (that's Artisans Exchange not artisan sex change). This is a place where you can swap supplies, projects, patterns, and so forth with other crafters. We're talking knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, jewelry making, spinning, cross-stitch and needlepoint, soapmaking, and so forth. Check it out. Keep in mind this site is less than a week old and does not have a whole lot of traffic right now. I can finally do something about the fabric that has been sitting idly in my trunk for the past 7 years. Yea!

I have nothing exciting to talk about today, so I will divert your attention to this week's

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.? Tap, please. Or as we used to call it here in the City, Guilliani Water. I guess that would make it Bloomberg Water, now.

2. What are your favourite flavor of chips? I love the barbeque Baked Lays. I have been known to eat an entire bag in one sitting.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most? I don't really have a whole lot of "dishes" that I make. For that matter, my kitchen is not condusive to cooking. But I like my rosemary roasted potatoes with spinach. Well, I actually altered Matthew Broderick's recipe from Newman's Own Cookbook.

4. How do you have your eggs? Tucked away contentedly in my ovaries, thank you very much.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out? Nolan made squid ink linguini with peppers, tomatoes and garlic in a light vermouth and oil sauce. It was wonderful. He was even so kind as to be concerned about whether I would eat the squid ink pasta in my vegetative... I mean vegetarian state. Using the same rationale in electing to eat dairy, eggs, honey and so forth, I think a bit of ink gets past the guidelines.

Thursday, May 15

So I was flipping through some websites in an attempt to continually avoid work when I came upon the site for String, which is a yarn store that opened up in NYC last fall. I still haven't had a chance to check it out, but that will change very shortly.

Anyway, as listed on their events page, they provide a very special service. You (an expecting parent) can register for a five piece baby layette in the yarn and colors that you prefer and have your friends come in and make these pieces or commission the staff to create them as part of your gift registry. How fabulous is that? You can now register for hand made gifts! I love it!

I have been cooking on this shawl. I now have 21 of my 29 pattern repeats done. I think I should be able to finish it completely by the end of next week. At this rate, probably sooner. The more I think about it, the more I am inclined to believe that the only error on the pattern is the total number of stitches at the end of the repeats. I'm guessing that the number of stitches to pick up for the border must be right.

So, yesterday at lunch, a female security guard at one of the buildings that I was going into was assigned to search by bag. Well, I was carrying my new instant-gratification bag with my knitting in it. She got so excited about the bag. We had a short chat about knitting and crocheting as she was drooling over by bag. I mean, I thought it was cute in a kind of look-what-I-threw-together-in-my-spare-time sort of way. But now I'm wondering if maybe I should take this a bit further. Move over baby hats, Marney is in the business of making bags.

I got the yarn color request for my next project. Imagine this blanket

in pale pink with a deeper pink trim. I'm guessing that they know the baby will be a girl.

Tuesday, May 13

Last night, I really needed a bit of instant gratification. I found a pattern linked from Liz's blog for a bag pattern that I thought would help me with my need for finishing something. Not to mention, I have all that acrylic from the Yarn Fairy that is not getting any younger. So, I have myself a new tote bag. Of course, with no camera, I have no pictures to share with you. I think if I do it again, I will cut down a few stitches, as it came out a bit bigger than I hoped. Or, I could do it in wool and felt it. That could be cute.

Anyway, it was very strange to go from the toothpick needles (size US 2) I am using for the shawl to the tree trunks (size US 10 1/2) for the tote. There were a couple of times that I just had to put it all down before my fingers dropped too many stitches.

In any case, it looks like I may be commissioned to make another heirloom baby blanket for an upcoming baby shower. I like having projects coming at me from all over the place. This will give me something to balance out the shawl with. Let me tell you, the shawl currently needs balance.

Monday, May 12

To continue on my rant about the price of MoMA, I just have to say that the new location does not allow for much of their permanent collection, so for $20, you get to see the special exhibit and 3 rooms of other works. Can I just say that is a TOTAL rip-off!

Well, I am about 1/2 way through with my shawl. I have also discovered that there is an error in the pattern. It says that there should be 155 stitches after the 29 pattern repeats when there should actually be 255 stitches. That's all fine and good, but I have to pick up stitches around the edge for the boarder. Now I have to figure out whether or not the number of stitches that I have to pick up is right. It requires way too much work for a pattern I was just going to blindly follow for a change. Anyone know where Cherry Tree Hill may post pattern corrections?

Friday, May 9

I have decided that the shawl is not something that I can work on whenever. This epiphany came after I had to "tink" (read: knit backwards or unknit) a complete patern repeat last night. One droped stitch in a lacy shawl with lace weight yarn makes for difficult pickups. Clearly, this is my concentration project.

Towels are ready to be washed and pressed now. I finished stitching the last one last night. I think there may be some loose ends on one of them but I'm ready to call them a finished object.

Well, my postponed trip out to see the Matisse Picasso exhibit at MoMA is set for tomorrow. I have the prepaid tickets in hand. That's right, you have to buy timed tickets in advance in order to see this exhibit. I'll be there at 5 pm with a few friends that need a cultural fix and a trek into Queens.

I havn't been to the new, temporary home of MoMA yet. I admit that I didn't go there all that often when it was only 3 blocks away from my apartment. I think part of it is it is SOOOO expensive for a museum. Most museums have an suggested donation of about $5-$10 to get in. That means that if you are not so wealthy, you can give a buck or two or even a sad, I-am-trying-to-fill-my-unemployed-days-with-a-little-culture-so-let-me-in face and still get inside. MoMA is $20 admission, no ifs, ands, or buts. Even my special priviledges for working for a company that financially contributes to many museums in this city don't get me that far with these money hungry curators. (Because most curators get into the business for the vast financial rewards they can reap.) But then again, I guess that would be why they can afford to totally rebuild their current home in Manhattan and still keep the museum going in their temporary home in Queens.

Thursday, May 8

Picture Time!!!


These are two more of my towels. The pictures look a bit weird at this size. If you click on them and look at them a bit larger, there aren't so many bumps. Also, the towels are thin but not as thin as they appear in the pictures. I haven't yet finished the third one because last night I got all excited about my new project...

Elfin Shawl

I get the yarn (Merino Lace)and the pattern (Elfin Lace Shawl) in the mail yesterday. It took me about 2.5 hours to wind the 1375 yards of this one hank of yarn into a ball. It's not like I was doing anything else last night since no one showed up for the book club. But I digress....

I thought I would also share with you the top of the bikini that I finished last week. I am still leaning toward lining it entirely so I can use it for actual swimming. I put elastic in the bottom on each triangle. I thought that would help with support issues that I may have. Please don't be too judgemental about the strings. I think the section that is shown here is pretty decent, much of the rest is lumpy and weird. I clearly need some help with my crocheting skills.

Bikini Top

There is my little picture gallery for the day. I know that I feel better now.

Wednesday, May 7

Another Tuesday has passed with me not at S-n-B. I got a last minute call to the theatre last night. Isn't that always the way? I had projects in hand and was ready to go, but it was not meant to be. So, I had my own S-n-B in the lounge of the Neil Simon theatre. There really wasn't anyone to share my stitching or bitching with. So I stitched and bitched by myself, in relative isolation. It really isn't the same, is it?

Anyway, I got 3/4 of the border of the last towel finished last night. That means I only have one side of border, weave in any stray ends, wash and press them and they are totally finished. (What a horrible run-on sentence. My elementary teachers would be ashamed.) Not bad! I have over 3 weeks to spare.

Tonight is the monthly book club. We are having a bit of an attendance slump these days. It's been a while since we had a big group in attendance. The average gathering is about 2 or 3 people at best for the past couple of months. Everyone is just ultra busy these days. I have a bit of concern for this evening. Although Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is a funny book, I don't really think it is the best choice for having a book club discussion. At least next month's To Kill a Mockingbird will bring about a much more in depth conversation. I love that book. I think I have already read it twice and seen the movie many times. I am really looking forward to reading it again.

Monday, May 5

I have a new bikini! So, I tried my hand at crocheting the strings, and let me tell you, I suck at crocheting. Rather lumpy and funky. Whatever. It still works. I still want to line it a bit, just for shaping sake. I think I have some time since the weather is not quite at the bikini point, yet.

The towels are almost finished. I only have the border of one of them left. That should take me no time to finish.

On Saturday night, I went to see Bill Maher in his new show, Bill Maher: Victory Begins at home on Broadway. He was very funny and rather critical about most everything that he touched on. There was even a Q&A session at the end of the night. I thought that was a bit much and really not necessary. He created a series of propaganda posters in the vein of the old World War II propaganda posters. Some of them were charming, others were down right disturbing. In any case, I think it was a worth while evening that left me laughing, quite a lot. As it was pointed out to me, though. I think a lot of his political humor is really more along the idea of preaching to the choir here in NYC. I don't think he would get quite the same responses to his president bashing if he did the same show in someplace a little less liberal.

Friday, May 2

One additional note, Today is the One-Year Anniversary of my blog. That's right, I have been chatting my heart out via cyberspace for an entire year. Thanks for listening to my insanity.

Bowling for Charity

So I bowled last night for Junior Achievement. It was a fun time hanging with my crazy co-workers at the bowling alley at Port Authority Bus Terminal. I think the subway and buses definitely affected our games. Aside from that, I managed to win high game on our team (whopping 130) in my first game. The second game wasn't as good, which I blame entirely on the disco/strobe lights that went on in the third frame. It's hard to tell what you are doing when there is a flashing light in your eyes. There should be pictures next week.

So, I didn't get a whole lot of stitching done last night. Actually, none to be exact. It's amazing how throwing a 12 lb ball repeatedly makes your wrist and arm sore. I am hoping to get the towels finished this weekend. I have Hearts, Spades and Diamonds finished. Clubs are in the hoop. Also, bikini string needs to get resolved this weekend. I think I will just do more than a single crocheted chain. I may have to actually figure out how to crochet. Good thing I got my Travel Crochet Hook Set.

I am thinking about making a shawl to go over the dress I will be wearing to the wedding at the end of the month. I just got my Knit Picks catalogue and was inspired by the Merino Lace in Ocean and the Elfin Lace Shawl. I may have to splurge on this one. After all, I am going to havi to settle for shoes that aren't what I'm looking for.