Thursday, April 26, 2007

I Can See for Miles and Miles

And what I see is ...
Fisherman's rib. Am I bored? No way. Totally in love. So soothing; so beautiful; so comforting. And my anticipation of wearing this warm, yet gossamer wrap is that it will be even more comforting than the knitting of it. My only frustration: it's become a little bit too unweildy to be a good travel knit. Especially because it's the perfect travel knit in every other way!

The other knit I'm seeing these days is this:

(Trust me it doesn't look as blurry to me as it does to you.) The beginnings of a plain knit sock from Knitting Vintage Socks in a deeply gorgeous turquoise blue. In fact, the blue is coming off on my fingers and needles. I'd heard about that phenom before, but never seen it up close and personal. This is just the teeniest bit boring. I wanted to do a slightly fancier, funkier design, but that oceanic blue is for M. Y. and M. Y. loves the plain, plain sock. Sigh. Don't know if he knows what a gesture of love it is to stick to the pure stockinette!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Party Every Day

As Cardinal Woolsey -- the one-time New York City band, not to be confused with Cardinal Wolsey the ... well, the cardinal -- used to sing, "the fu-u-u-u-n never stops!"

Yeah, they were being sarcastic too. It's been a rough week here chez knitting out loud. It was hard technically/logistically, from working a full day to rehearsing a full night to working the next day, running to an audition, back to the job, to a meeting where I somewhat unexpectedly picked up some writing work to the scramble to find out what freelance pr/commercial/web type writers actually charge to the reading I'd rehearsed the night before back to an early start temping the next day to another commercial audition back to the temp job thence to a meeting with a manager which included -- what else? -- an audition. And that was just Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday. Beyond that, and perhaps even more so, it was hard -- really, really hard -- emotionally/psychologically/spiritually. I was given my first challenge in this new year of being a year older and, while I won't say I failed miserably, I didn't exactly breeze through with flying colours. That reading? It was peopled by painfully hip, young, gorgeous kids -- mostly girls -- with perfect skin, real agents, and resumes longer and fuller than mine. Apparently they spend their days doing "not much" in their DUMBO lofts then show up for things like this reading where they get to just be actors. Jealous? Me? You bet. And, worse than that, flung immediately back into the horrors of high school. They were all the popular kids who wanted nothing to do with me. At some point I had the vivid realization that, while I was in a room full of people I was supposed to understand, it was as if they were all speaking Swahili. Everyone was chattering away, except me. I was alone and silent. And I disappeared. Yes, I am supposed to be beyond all that but apparently I haven't really mastered those lessons yet. Needless to say, I skipped the after party.

But I also have enough sense and at least enough development and, thankfully, the most incredible therapist who's also part witch doctor, to take it on and realize I have an opportunity here to make a deep change. After all, numerologically speaking, this is supposed to be the year of my final "9," my final big challenge, with nothing but ciphers afterward meaning I am able to simply choose which, if any, challenges I want. So here it is. I lived in fear of this year for a while, thinking, based on the experiences of my previous "9" years, that some terrible external thing was bound to happen plunging me into understandable pain and misery and, if I didn't choose to deal with it differently this time, despair, but I no longer think that's it. I think this -- perhaps the biggest, most persistent and pervasive internal struggle of my life -- is that big challenge. And how grand it will be to have transformed this final, nagging, stifling thing that has kept me down for so long!

So in a way it is "party every day." This morning is to be a slow, easy healing one with NPR, the wrap with sleeves and coffee surrouned by my newest knitting books and, of course, Eris.

Besides all that, it's a girl's birthday party today! Since the lovely Jill was out of town last week I postponed any birthday celebration and decided it should be an all-girl girly thing this evening at the charming Tini in Red Hook. Perfect! Wine and delectable snacks and soft white couches and budding narcissi.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

c'est mon anniversaire!

No, I didn't make them. They're the flowery products of Cupcake Cafe, courtesy of some very lovely people I know. Should I have one for breakfast?

My brother sent flowers! How sweet is that?!

Just what I wanted!!

The best birthday companion a girl could ask for.
It's a happy day, and my birthday wish is that you have a happy day, too. Now I'm off to blow bubbles in the park!

Friday, March 23, 2007


It says something that, knowing I would be late or, at best, just on time for the kick-off event of the remarkable Harlot's Represent! tour I was afraid I wouldn't get a seat in the 750-seat hall at FIT. It says even more that I was not entirely wrong to be worried. I mean, yes, there were seats available, but not all that many. Wow! Represent, indeed.

Stephanie was funny, warm, smart -- all the things readers of the Yarn Harlot know her to be. Joe was there, a complete surprise for Stephanie, and I have to say you could feel their love flood that auditorium all the way to the back of the near-capacity filled hall. Enchanting Juno was there, collecting money for Medecins sans Frontieres/Tricoteuses sans Frontieres, and she is just that -- enchanting! There were yummy gift bags with yarn, needles, and the suggestion that we all knit a square for Warm Up America (is that it? yes, just checked the link -- that's it) while we listened to Stephanie's talk. Copious numbers of beautiful squares were collected by the end of the talk -- Stephanie sure knows how to use her powers for good!

Feeling all yarn-happy and a little punch-drunk from being around so many knitters, I made a discovery on the way home: some funky, crossed stitch creating small gaps a good four inches back on my knitting. Sigh.

Am I frogging? You know it. I feel it now -- I'm going to have to start some socks to get me through this wrap w/sleeves.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Trip

It was unbelievably great. Oddly, however, there was no knitting. None. Really. Not one stitch. In its stead there was a flurry of embroidery. The fleur de lys trimmed pillowcases for M. Y were finished the morning of his birthday, in the American Airlines terminal at LAX, and delivered to him that evening. Of course there are no photos. Who, me? Take a photo of an fo?

Instead, I will grace the blog with this eye candy:

Pictures from just one of the idyllic spots I visited on my three-day romp around LA. This is a self realization center on Sunset Boulevard just a little bit inland from PCH, and the pictures do not even begin to convey how richly, astonishingly, soothingly beautiful it is.

If you think knitting in public provokes odd reactions (and I have to say in my case, living in New York, everybody's over it; nobody really notices anymore; but I understand in some places they still do) clearly has not embroidered in public. I was in airports, on planes, at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in North Hollywood working up these cunning little gold-trimmed fleur de lys, each in a different shade of blue, and I could feel the pressure of eyes on me at all times. It was crazy. Almost like no one dared say anything, yet could not tear their eyes away, and certainly couldn't figure out exactly what it was I was doing. One delightful exception: the beautiful young hip waitress at the bar in the hotel who brought tea to my outdoor table and immediately gushed, "are you doing cross-stitch?!" Turns out cross stitch and needlepoint are her thing.

I returned to a veritable ski slope on the stairs to my garden apartment (aka basement apt). If it weren't for the exceptionally kind man who offered to hand me down my suitcase if I could get myself down the stairs who waited patiently while I hacked my way, step by precarious step, through the ice and snow with only the heels of my little black flats, I'd still be standing out on the street shivering with my carry-on luggage sitting forlornly beside me. I was only gone Thursday to Sunday; what'd y'all do while I was away?

Now that I'm back, and pouring myself into the next projects, a screenplay reading and the return of Flashback, I've taken up the Rebecca wrap with sleeves again and am thrilled by how soft and luxurious the soft green GGH yarn is, and their version of fisherman's rib is just about a quarter step above completely mindless knitting -- just what I need these days!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Theory du jour

If I blogged properly, I wouldn't be getting any knitting or sewing done at all, now would I?

Well that's what I'm telling myself these days, anyway. And there is knitting and embroidery time aplenty on the horizon, as I am jetting off to LOS ANGELES for a few days at the end of this week. PlayBall! is screening at the San Fernando Valley International Film Festival, and I could not be more pleased. Ok, I could be more pleased if it were the Academy Awards. Or if M. Y were able to accompany me on the trip. But, all in all, I have to say: pretty darn pleased. And exceedingly pleased with myself for going! It was one of those things you say 'yes' to because you know you have to, even though you're not sure how you're going to, and having done that, everything just keeps working out. I'll be staying with my friend & collaborator who moved out there herself just over a month ago, I'll be visiting with other friends there, I'll be going to the SFVIFF gala and our film's screening the next afternoon -- hopefully I'll even make it to the beach and to a meeting with a casting director. All in three days! Most significantly, perhaps, I'll be back in LA for the first time since I moved from there to England (London, as opposed to my earlier move to Oxford), many, many years ago. Can't remember exactly how many. It's a lot, though. London was before New York, and New York's been a bloody long time. Anyway, the clothes I thought I was ill-advisedly buying these past couple of weeks are already packed as perfect travel clothes; I've re-stocked my sorely depleted makeup bag with some super yummy Kevin Aucoin colors; I'm getting my hair done, a manicure and pedicure, and generally living the life of the glamorous star this week. Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

The knitting? Rebecca's wrap with sleeves - soft, fluffy, and guaranteed to be soothing in its simplicity. The embroidery? Pillowcases to be adorned with fleur de lis in varying shades of blue for M. Y's birthday. I fly back Sunday in time for his birthday dinner, so I expect there'll be a bit more embroidery than knitting on this trip, but we'll see how it goes. I traced little fleur de lis onto the pillowcases yesterday and can't wait to see how they work out!

The birthday dinner? M. Y is cooking -- but I'll be making dinner for him on my birthday the following weekend, so it all works out!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Saved by the Soft Kid

It's a sorry comment on the current state of my mind that I forgot I actually had a project started just before I dove into my manic knitting of Rose Red, the sweater I was determined to have for February (I did, btw, have it for February -- just!). I was just under a foot into the Rebecca Wrap with Sleeves, which I've been wanting to make since I got back into knitting (ahem-grf-hm) years ago, and noticing a couple of mistakes that had me considering a major trip to the pond that shall remain nameless (but no doubt has a bunch of lily pads). I knew then that if I packed the wrap away while working on Rose Red I'd be much more ready to frog away and start from scratch when I got back to it. It's a sorry comment on the current state of my apartment that actually just putting the thing in a bag on my desk was apparently enough not just to let me feel it had been temporarily "packed away," but, indeed, to enable me to forget about it completely. It was only after I'd sent off my tax packet and moved a couple of sheafs of paper over the weekend that I rediscovered it, patiently waiting, exactly the perfect project to replenish my knitting mojo. No wonder no other project seemed like the right thing to knit! I was actually looking for this; I just didn't know it.

Here it is, mostly frogged, in its pleasantly haunting shade of pale, misty green (the pictures are so not true to the color). I'd dreaded the frogging process, as I was sure this cotton candy confection of a yarn would either make it impossible to unknit or would disintegrate in the process, but it's not nearly as hard as I'd feared and the yarn is holding up remarkably well. I think it took me so long to start in the first place because I was intimidated by the yarn -- ok, the price of the yarn which adds up pretty quickly for a project of this size. I'd spent years on the lookout for a cheaper alternative, only to become convinced that Soft Kid was the only real choice. Nothing else was both beautiful enough and soft enough to make a wrap with sleeves worth knitting! Thanks to the generosity of my oh-so-sweet brother, though, a gift certificate to my favorite LYS made the whole thing much more manageable.

I'm just a few rips away from a fresh start on a beautiful project that I may actually indulge my perfectionist tendencies on -- oh, yeah, she says that now, but talk to me in two weeks ....