Thursday, April 29, 2010

More knitting, hipsters and books

Here is the first Alice's Mitt I finished. I actually liked it better than the Fetching pattern from Ravelry. I thought it was simple and elegant. Best of all, no thumb! You just slip the first stitch of each row to create the gap that your thumb fits through.

I don't remember when in the movies Alice wore these mitts...I remember a scene from New Moon where she and Bella are driving to meet the Volturi. Maybe it was then.

My book drought has ended. I started The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. It has all the intrigue of Big Love, without getting bogged down in cult politics. This book is just focusing on the family. I can see the appeal of having sister wives...they would pick up the slack in a number of areas, including housework and child care.

Also, I was mulling over hipsters while having lunch with Poppy yesterday. I am intrigued by how they wear vintage shirts, play vinyl records and actually use Polaroid cameras...everything old is new again. I think nostalgia is at the root of their movement.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wristwarmers/fingerless gloves

I always thought fingerless gloves were rather silly, but these ones (that I just finished making) are very cozy. I'm wearing them just because they feel nice.

I might make another pair next. They actually have a pair on Ravelry called Alice's Mitts, based on the mitts Alice Cullen wore in Twilight or New Moon. I know. But they're cute.

My reading life is a little unsatisfying these days. Right now I'm finishing up The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith. It's the eleventh entry in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, and it's just starting to go downhill. I might skip the next one. His Isabel Dalhousie series is still good, though.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

So here is my newest project, Cleaves:

As you can see, it's a kind of combo of sweater and shrug - big puffy sleeves connected with a cowl. It's deliciously soft and warm, but hard to wear - the cowl keeps slipping down. I made it with Malabrigo yarn, which I always come back to. The yarn stores here don't seem to know it's the best and only yarn...they stock others, and not always enough of the Malabrigo. But what can you do?

I'm psyched to go to Memphis, mainly because it's like going to a foreign country without leaving the country. At an old friend's urging, I am going to (probably) take a riverboat cruise down the Mississippi (only 90 minutes, not one of those dinner/dance thingies) and I already have my ticket to tour Graceland and see Elvis's jets. Hehe. I am expecting it to be quite campy. I do tend to enjoy these things; I liked seeing Hearst's mansion in San Simeon.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So I was feeling a bit stressed out, and decided to have a Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade. It's my drink of choice, not that I drink often, because it usually disrupts my sleep. But I was just in the mood to have it. E was intrigued by the bottle, kept looking at it and saying "bus" (for reasons known only to him).

I'm unveiling my mystery trip: Memphis! Should be fun. I think it will be campy and fun to see Graceland. I'm also looking forward to seeing the Mississippi River again and maybe taking a boat ride down it. I saw it years ago, in St. Louis. I would love to swim in it, though of course I won't.

My next random U.S. trip will probably be South Dakota. I've wanted to see Mount Rushmore ever since I saw North by Northwest.

Where do you want to go?

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Amanda Hat

So here's "The Amanda Hat" I just made from a pattern on Ravelry.

I really like it. It's quite soft; I made it with Madeline Tosh merino yarn. Some people on Ravelry complained that it was too big, but it fits my head perfectly. It may be my new favorite hat.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Here it is, folks. I screwed up the sewing part a bit (I hate sewing), but I think the knitting came out well.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The new pile

So I finished the second sleeve of the cardigan:

And here's the book I'm reading. Pretty cover, yes? The scarf, the mittens, the peach:

The full pile:

*And* I'm taking an exciting trip in a couple of weeks. I'm not going to tell you where, just yet. Suspense is good for you :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cardigan progress

So I'd say I'm 80% done with the cardigan. I have to do one more sleeve, then pick up and knit some stitches around the neckband, and seam the sleeves onto the body. Here are some pics of the body and the sleeve I've already done, while being blocked on the bed:

I've never blocked a garment before, but now I can say I'm a fan. It really helped open up the lace pattern and show off the yarn-overs to their best advantage :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The trilogy

Today I finished watching the trilogy of movies my mother warned me not to watch. They are: Closer, Million Dollar Baby and Broken Flowers. I watched the first two a few years ago. Closer was okay. Then I watched Million Dollar Baby. It was so depressing that I wished I could un-watch it. So Mom was right about that one, and I held off on watching Broken Flowers. Until last night (and today when I finished it. I love the instant-movie feature on Netflix).

Anyway, I really liked Broken Flowers. I don't know if it's for everyone - Bill Murray plays the same character he played in Lost in Translation, and there's a fair amount of mooning around. However, it has the whole road trip thing going for it (I always love that), a lot of "name" actresses (Sharon Stone, Jessica Lange and Chloe Sevigny) and a sort of quiet reflection that appealed to me. It was not neatly resolved. At all. But that struck me as realistic.

In other news, I am almost done with my cardigan. The body is finished. I've started one of the sleeves, then I just have to make the other, and seam the whole thing together. The sewing is always my least favorite part - I'm a big fan of knitting in the round.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Pile

Here's the current pile of books...I'm looking forward to reading all of them.

The first two authors, Elizabeth Berg and Jennifer Chiaverini, are old favorites. The bottom book is written by Holly LeCraw, whom I've never heard of before, but the story looks intriguing.

And, just 'cause he's cute:

My boy loves his spaghetti.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Cardigan news

Here are a couple more pics of the cardigan:

It's going well. Once I finish this main body part of the cardigan, which is knit in the round, I will do the sleeves separately. And - for the very first time - I'm going to block it. Which in knitting terms, just means getting the material a little damp, and then gently stretching it out so that it matches the dimensions of the pattern.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

So here's a picture of my newest project...a pink cardigan. The pattern is here. It is definitely the most ambitious thing I have knitted to date...even though it doesn't look much like a cardigan, yet. It will someday, I promise ;)

E had a nice conversation with his tortellini tonight. He calls it "nee." He chats with it, like so: "Nee, nee, hot, oh nee, bye bye nee."

Tonight I might watch New Moon. I am afraid it might be more sci-fi and more of a boy movie (more battles) than Twilight, which I found deliciously romantic.

And just for kicks, here is a hat I finished recently. The yarn is very pretty...Madeline Tosh, hand-dyed.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I realized I have not put up any pictures of baby E here in a long, long time. He will be 2 in June! Not so much a baby anymore. Anyway, here he is:

My mother sent these letters for his room, as an Easter gift. Right now, E is infatuated with letters. When he saw them, he cried out, "M! S!" and immediately started playing with them. He likes numbers too, just not as much. And he is obsessed with books. Just like me :)