It's cold! The snow has barely stuck to the ground and the streets are lined with Christmas trees for sale. As the sun set over Grand Army Plaza the Mitzvah Tanks raced their way onto Flatbush Ave like a fleet of Kosher Mr. Softy trucks. The tinny recording of "L'Chaim" battled the thumping Reggae version of "Do You Hear What I Hear". Why do Hassids use the same warped recording every year? In light of digital technology, there must be an orthodox sound engineer in Williamsburg or Borough Park. I was called a racist over a smart remark about Williamsburg. The Billyburgenites — are trustfund hipsters now a race or an overentitled breed? The end of the year is always a bit nuts, although last week seemed to settle by Thursday in a civil manner. A packaging deadline moved up by one week methodically changing titles in French and English (three times) then color, identity, and bar code. Pain Citrouille Épicée is en route to Hong Kong. I assume that all went well, Ça va? No one understands 4-color anymore.
Maha's Cafe had a small knitting group this week. It was just me, Jennifer and Archie. Maha made us a special dinner — a braised chicken dish spiced with ginger and corrainder served over rice pilaf. Mmmm, it was delicious! I went back for seconds. It's been busy at the cafe, but she made time to sit with us and make a scarf. As 2007 comes to an end, Jennifer is working on a new cable hat from Vogue Knitting (On the Go) "Caps & Hats", and she's also looking for her own place. I don't know which is more twisted, that cabled tam or New York real estate. Even as the housing market is allegedly weakening, rent is still ridiculously overpriced — average 1br $1,8oo - $2,200 /mo. in this area alone. Jennifer, a native Mississippian digs Prospect Heights. Dont' we all? Maha told her she might have some apartment leads. What's the arab word for Yenta? I have a rent stabalized pre-war apartment (with pre-war wiring). I never knock it, it's like having gold these days.
Archie is working on Chirstmas gifts: an argyle vest for his dad. He does very nice, tight work. I think he found the pattern on Ravelry.com, Archie and Jane always remind me to join. It's an online knitting commuity that's great for exchanging patterns, yarn, and ideas. Recently Archie left teaching to counsel adults with autism. Sounds heavy duty but I'm sure he's good at it — one who is willing to do intarsia argyle with duplate stitching is very patient. And if that's not enough he's taken over the Park Slope knitting MeetUp group. He's got his work cut out for him.
I'm working on another sweater. Actually, I'm ripping out the saddle raglan (Karabella SuperYak) that I started last month. I don't know how this happened, but I couldn't get my head through the collar. As I tried to squeeze past the neckline I realized that this is probably what midwives usually see. I swatched, I calculated the ribs from shoudler to cuff, I patterned, etc. — it fit like winter gear from the husky boys department. Frogging Tip: After ripping wool, hand wind yarn loosely into hanks, soak in cold water, air dry and let it rest for a two days to regain elasticity. If wool has lost much elasticity soak hank in warm bath of unflavored gelatin. So as I give this project a shameful rest, I'm winding 1,500 yards of rediscovered treasure — I found a bag of orange cashmere that I bought two years ago. Now there's an incentive to clean!