Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Knit PH at Perk: Feb 13, '08

This February 13th posting is way out of sequence, it's been a wacked-out month.

The rain ceased and a small group quickly assembled. Penelope finally met Eliza — until then they've only known each other online through Ravelry.com. Eliza found Jane's old spinning wheel for sale via Ravelry, then Jane finally bought her new uber-wheel. Ravelry is pretty amazing, I spend a lot of time looking at people's projects from here to Ankara, Turkey. I sat down to my usual hot turkey panini made by Perk owner Murati (who is from Turkey). I tried not to speak with a full mouth.

Socks are still all the rage — Tomo showed off her new skeins of Kool-aid dyed sock yarn. I was impressed at how intense the colors turned out — the blues are almost turquoise, greens are springy, reds are punchy. I now realize that Kool-aid and Jello have been clown-coloring the intestinal tracks of American children for decades. Caitlin started a hat for her husband, omitting the wave pattern. Meg was reaching the end of her apple green baby blanket and Marci was crocheting some arm warmers for an officemate. I don't know much about crochet — I had no idea one can rib and purl with a hook. Marci is very talened with the hook. She's also a very god illustrator. I hope she takes pictures before the arm warmers part ways. I brought in my left-over yarn project (picture TK). I'm crocheting my a long tube. I have no idea what it really is. I have admit it's a bit ugly. Caitlin suggested a snub bulster for my couch. Penelope said if I put some holes in the side I can make a hanging tower for all my plastic grocery bags. Basura meron? It's too heavy for a pilates bag — and I'm not down with the pilates-thang. Marci suggested I stuff it and use it as a draft blocker for the front door. I'll figure it when I run out of yarn. Or will I?

A familiar voice said hello, and a soft hand tapped my shoulder. It was Janet from our original 2004 circle. She was passing by and was glad to see were were still knitting at Perk. She recently moved back to the neighborhood. She said work has been good for her. We caught up for a bit, but she had to go. I told her we'll catch up more later on. Meg took a break form her blanket.

"She's a writer, isn't she."
"Yeah, how did you know?"
"She looks marketable."

And Mz. Janet does. She's written for many Latin publications including Latina and Famila. I imagine she does well. There sure are a lot of publishing folk in Brooklyn. I remember during that summer blackout when Harper's almost missed their press date — the entire editorial staff walked home to safety over the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn.

Anyhow, I brought the silk dyes for Tomo and Eliza for their spinning projects. These are left over from a past project that never came to be. By the end of the evening they both decided that the dyes would be better used in a group activity. Plan A: Gather a small group at Tomo's apartment on a weekend. I wish Freddy's still had their kitchen running. It's perfect for boiling a cooling roving and skeins on a weekend afternoon — plus I could grill some cheese sandwiches while we dye. Alas, the days of pub n' grub are over. By the end of the evening I raffled off the Valentine gift bag that Tomo made. Penelope was the winner! The funny thing was she kept say "I'm gonna win that, just watch!" Her psychic powers willed me to pick her number.

I like Propsect Heights. But we knit under the foot of change. They say a change is good, but I often ask "Who are they?"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Knit PH at Freddy's: Feb. 17, 08

If February is a leap year month with only 29 days, why is it taking so long to be over? I've been up late, swamped with work, courting new clients, closing deadlines, putting out new bids... then on top of that I'm pitching three books — who knows where they will go. The weather fluctuates between below-freezing to almost-spring. Although I like the snow it never stays around long enough to enjoy, then it quickly turns slushy grey with traffic. Knit PH at Freddy's has taken a tutonic twist. We are sharing the back room with the new German Language Studies Club. Professor Deike B. can take the entire room when Knit PH takes a summer break. A Finnish friend, Vierpe K., returned from a tour India's tiger country and brought her laptop presentation. Zo, Willkommen alles zu Stricken Nacht, an evening of conversational German and knitting. Maybe we can combine forces to overpower the French knitting circle.

I got an e-mail from Kate, a school teacher who was having trouble with a large blanket. She said she didn't register on MeetUp, but wanted to drop in for advise and a beer. She was the first person to arrive at Freddy's. Kate was in good company though, she is an educator and so is Mira. Related to that, Tracey is one to the librarians in the group, she curates Jewish heritage material. Kate laid her blanket flat on a table for a post mortem. It was about 5 feet by 5 feet and growing, but the I could see where she had turned a few rows and dropped some stitches. Over the din of Rilke I tried to untangle the the last 8 rows but eventually had do an unspeakable act — I broke out the scissors and cut a foot down into the blanket. Kate was a trouper, most people would faint at the site.

Mira brought her Calorimetry headband in progress, it's a very popular pattern from Knitty.com. Meanhwile I was adding the cap on another newsboy hat, I should have brought my labels too. Randy is working on a pair gloves for a lady friend. He asked me to advise at the increase at the thumb. He did all the right things but the pattern had a naming convention problem: M1 inc. I showed him the difference between methods and gave him the correct name according to pattern description: lift increase. Tomo had a new hank of kool-aid dyed yarn. She scoured every bodega in Brooklyn to get the right colors but found no brown. Maybe in the pudding isle in Sunset Park? Emily was working on another scarf, possbily for another office mate. She's going to join us at the dyeing party at Tomo's place, date TBA.

New to the group are Rachel and Meghan, members of Archie's Park Slope Knitting Circle. Rachel was finishing her shrug but raised a question: "How do I pick up 300 stitches if I have less around the edge?" Emily and I explained that picking up stitches is more a "notation" that implies you make some up. In theory if you have 240 stiches, you must M1 after picking up every 6 stitches to get the total of 300. It's not that messy if you have a calculator. There were three other people that I didn't get to talk to. They sat between our group and the Germans. Were they German speaking knitters? After beer and balls, the evening ended with a rich chocolate mousse cake made by Mz. Wiss for the German side of the room.

The upshot to Stricken Nacht: There will always be good cake.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Mancho-rian Candidate

Fashion Week New York left its Fall 2008 forecast this February. Someone pointed out that I missed it. I briefly attended the first and less organized incarnation when the publishing company where I worked was across from Bryant Park. The event looked like Wigstock — models running about in full kabuki. A frantic man in black mistakenly walked into our office and asked if anyone knew where Betsy went. He flung his camera over his shoulder, turned and said "Tsk, oh you wouldn't know" and left. I imagine he also inquired about his friend at the General Contractors next door and was stabbed in the chest with his own camera.

left to right: Clint Eastwood, "The Man with No Name"; Missoni, Fall 2007

So, as New York Fashion Week 2008 sauntered away, it foretold of a more youthful Goth world— where play is the new work and plaid is the new stripe. Cardigans are hot. New on the horizon, men's accessories like this men's short button scarf (inset). Gone for good, the Mancho. The photo above demonstrates that the man-pancho only works in the movies — and only if you carry a big gun. And yet I saw a one at the Canal Street stop just today. Or was that a man at all? Hmm. He was just plain creeeepy! I tried not to make eye contact, but it was like trying to ignore a theatrical train weck. I guess they're warm and comfortable, but so is a down quilt — and except for a few homeless people, you don't often see that slinking it's way up the platform. But just as earth shoes and clogs have resurface, I'm sure the mancho will rear it's wooly head once more. When apes rule the planet.

Elle Magazine's creative director, Joe Zee, reported that "grey is the new black" again and neutrals are big for fall 2008. The color grey is also historically linked with signs of economic recession — I learned that at Money Magazine. According to a few fashionista friends, neutral colors reveal much about a man —where as colors compensate. Charcoal is known as the bachelor's color — pensive and cagey. Light grey mean business. Camel and stone are worn by the trustworthy man, and ecrue by the old-fashioned boy. Black completes the somber man, it's the thinking man's color. I always figured that if I wore enough gray the world would catch up to me. I'm still waiting for a receding hairline and being slightly out of shape to work in my favor.

If Pictures Could Talk...

1. I LOVE my bath mat!
2. Skittles are the new black.
3. The Mancho-rian Candidate.
4. Braille Chic at Fashion Week.
5. I'm coo-coo for Fruity Puffs!
6. Squint. You'll see Che Guevara's
face on my left shoulder.

7. Chuck Close, but no cigar.
8. I can land this plane myself.
9. I'm here for the "Godspell" audition.
10. Hobbits rarely leave the shire.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Knit PH at Maha's: Feb. 6, 2008

I had a nose bleed this morning, it looked like a crime scene in my bathroom sink. I imagined being lead away in handcuffs explaining "No it's just a combintation of dry apartment heat, smoking, and Nicorette™ gum! I'm innocent I tell you!"

It was a warm Wednesday evening at Maha's — fall weather in February, high of 68 degrees. Archie is working on a pie-shaped baby blanket for a friend's new daughter. He's been very involved with the Park Slope Knitting Circle since he's taken the group over. Where does that man get the energy? The PSKC group has been participating in hospital charities, like knitting for cancer patients. Meanwhile from our Knit PH group, Emily, Tomo, and I entered Diorama Lodge this past Tuesday. We didn't win but we sure kicked some shoebox-ass.

Leslie, one of my students showed up. I teased her about crossing Flatbush from the Slope. Then she teased me about calling her Leslie since her name is Lisa and she's only been attending my classes now for two years now. Touché Lisa, touché. She brought in her Cobble Stone sweater, a very smart design by Jarret Flood (Interweave Knits, Fall/Winter Issue). She did a great job on the short-row yoke, with a few loose "turns". Eliza said that one of her officemates has been calling her Lisa for years even though she's corrected her on numerous occasions. Eliza has started playing around with the spinning wheel that she bought from Jane. Tomo spins too, she said that Jane probably upgraded to a wheel with more plying capabilities. I find it all fascinating— that's like making your own sand.

Tomo made a gift bag to raffle at Perk next week for Valetine's Day. This is much better than the canned ham I give away on karaoke night. She worked on a beautiful pair of lace socks. Mariel was in mid-sock too using yarn she dyed with Jello in her microwave. I was impressed with how bright the colors were — variegated Lemon Parfait and Tangerine. Tomo and Eliza said they'd like to try dying dyeing with Jello. I have silk dyes to give them from a silk screen project, NOT good for small apartments. The topic of Webb's keeps coming up. I've never been to their ginormous year-end yarn sale. Urban legend tells of people showing up with large construction-grade bags and "helpers". Instead I have a growing collection magentic clasps and skull bead. Emily finished up another short buttoned scarf, it's a great quick gift for demanding officemates. She better be making out well with the office loot.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Eminantly Wrong

This sucks hairy eggs:

Statement on Eminent Domain Decision

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2008

Circuit Court Rules Against Homeowners, Business Owners and Tenants in Atlantic Yards Eminent Domain Appeal

Plaintiffs Intend to Ask US Supreme Court to Hear Their Case

Plaintiffs Will Seek All Legal Remedies to Protect Their Homes and Businesses From Seizure by New York State

Sources: DDDB.net and Newsday