Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

well, hello there!

i have something to show you!


pattern: rosamund's cardigan by andrea pomerantz, ik fall 2009
yarn: cascade ecological wool in the "natural" colorway (2 skeins)
mods: armbands and bottom in 1x1 twisted rib rather than regular 'ole 1x1 and added 3" to the overall length

dudes, i love this sweater. love love love. it is beautiful, no? and the fit is great. it was totally worth the bazillion hooks-and-eyes i had to sew on (two hours of meticulous finishing work for a sweater with no seams, ugh!). the knitting is a little tough on the hands since you're working with bulky yarn on medium-sized needles but it goes fast. and i am so glad i knit this in a neutral color so i can wear it often!
i had b take a few quick snaps before i left for work this morning (hence the wet hair) so no close-ups of the buttons or cables or any of that fun stuff - yet. the buttons are brown faux-leather and absolutely perfect. did i mention i love this sweater? love.


so on saturday i drove out to riverside and ended up here.


okay, guys - if riverside, california is anywhere near where you live, you've got to stop by knitting with sandra, because you'll meet some of the coolest knitting ladies ever. the store has a great little backstory - a group of friends always met up at their lys for knit nights. you know. we do that. but despite their dedication, the owner couldn't sustain the business. so the friends? they bought it. they bought the store, laid down some paint, purchased new fixtures, and started ordering cream-of-the-crop yarn, all while working their day jobs (nurses, teachers - normal tough time-consuming jobs). and it's working. these ladies are so delightful and silly and snarky and raucous, people just flock in and sit around and hang out and buy yarn and knit.

i wish i had taken some photos of the interior and the lovely folk who set me up there (thanks, shelley, for EVERYTHING!) but i was so busy signing and chatting that i didn't get a chance. so i'll have to go back.

oh, right - did i mention i got some yarn?


frog tree meriboo. enough for ysolda teague's coraline. this yarn is amazing - i already knit up a swatch, and it's so soft and drapey and has just the right amount of shine that the detail work will pop even though the color is dark (another sweater that will match my wardrobe, yay!).

i think i always need to have at least one sweater going. see that pattern there on the couch? that's up next...

happy monday!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a beautiful thing


rosamund's done! well, she's knit. and it's finally nice and warm out so i might muster up the courage to block her and she might dry some time this century. first i have to clean out a bucket, because the bathroom sink's not big enough to hold all this wool!

i'll admit i've been procrastinating because after a great game of scrabble last night (b won - he broke 300!), b gave me this:


well, the bag was a random wonderful surprise gift from my mum and the perfect size to hold a few knitting projects, with pockets for notions. over the holidays, we saw a marimekko retrospective in a vacated storefront, and when i professed my love for all things marimekko, well. my mum remembers important things!

but i digress. anyway, i spent all morning watching elizabeth bennet and mr. darcy in high-def. which got me thinking. in honor of valentine's day, i've decided to share with you my top-ten all-time favorite romantic movies, guaranteed to make your heart pitter-patter. (only girls read this blog, right?) ready? here we go!:

10. the wedding singer
i don't know what it is about this movie, but i can watch it over and over, and fall in love with adam sandler every time. it's funny and sweet and full of crazy '80s music in the best fashion!

9. wives & daughters - 1999 bbc version
okay, technically a mini-series but the bbc mini-series are just like really really long movies and can be easily watched in one sitting with some knitting, tea, and box of chocolates or nutella on toast. if you like period pieces, this one is fantastic. look for michael gambon, justine waddell, and keeley hawes. written by andrew davies. need i say more? i think not.

8. harold and maude
a different kind of love story, certainly. but such a sweet one. (yes, i always cry.)

7. the princess bride
really, i don't need to say anything, right? right.

6. pride & prejudice - 1996 bbc version
for the purists out there - yes, i have this verson on blu-ray too (also a gift from b; he spoils me!). this one is by far the most accurate to the novel, which is a very good thing. i've been known to have p&p marathons in my house. by myself. all five hours, just me and colin firth.

5. once
a little movie about music and love made on a shoestring budget that caught fire like mad a few years back just via word of mouth. you've seen this movie, yes? no? okay, go rent it right. now. and get some tissues. and throw some credits into your itunes account because you'll need to purchase the soundtrack directly.

4. it happened one night
probably my favorite frank capra movie, starring claudette colbert, who plays a snobby headstrong but naive socialite on the run from her father, who doesn't want her to marry her beau. oh, did i forget to mention it also stars clark gable as a snarky, worldly newspaper reporter? and they fall in love against their wills? oh yes.

3. sense & sensibility - 2008 bbc version
i am forever indebted to malaraky for sending me this one. it is a visually gorgeous movie and the love and lust is utterly palpable, in a proper 19th century kind of way.

2. pride & prejudice - 2005 focus version
okay, so it might not be quite as accurate as the 1996 bbc version, but boy is it steamy! (in that proper 19th century kind of way?)

1. the philadelphia story
this is not only my favorite romantic film, it's also my favorite movie of all time. it is smart, hilarious, sweet, and uplifting. katharine hepburn plays a wealthy self-righteous divorcee about to marry a "man of the people" when her ex (cary grant) comes back to town, all the while being spied upon by a tabloid reporter (james stewart) who falls in love with her too. the dialogue is phenomenally witty and the actors are all at their best in this wonderful movie.

so, what did i forget? what romantic movies are your favorites, that i might just not know about? please share, because i have sweaters to knit and chocolate to eat!

happy valentine's day!

Monday, February 08, 2010

and now, a few PSAs


1. if you're in the area, come join me on feb 20 (that's saturday after next, 'yall!) in riverside, ca at knitting with sandra for a twilight party! the lovely gals who run this new local yarn store have lots of fun planned. i have been notified that there will be chocolate involved...

2. go and subscribe to npr/pri's selected shorts podcast. stories by the likes of etgar keret and wallace stegner, read live by professional actors... often followed by author interviews. just delicious. guaranteed to make your 2-hour-rainy-friday-night-commute home more pleasant.

3. speaking of delicious, rustle up the ingredients to make this banana bread.* now. oh, ashley g - you are more than just my favorite contemporary artist. as of this moment, you are my easy-bake muse.

(happy sunday!)

*no baking soda in our house, so i substituted 2 tspns baking powder and skipped the salt. i also added a hearty few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg, plus the vanilla extract ashley suggests. mmmm...

Monday, February 01, 2010

put me back together

an itemized list of things, in no particular order, that have broken in, around, and on our house in the last month:

1. stove

2. washing machine

3. vacuum cleaner

4. ceiling

as you can imagine, each and everyone one of these things has been an ordeal. we are now the proud leasees of a new stove and gently used washer/dryer, but the washer/dryer? it's in a room with a leaky ceiling. during the rainy season. and they can't fix it until it stops raining. *sigh*

the vacuum cleaner was an experience in stupidity itself. we have three animals, and b vacuums every other day to keep the fur at bay. so when our three-month-hold hoover windtunnel belt fell off for the upteenth time on friday, and then the whole thing somehow also shorted out, well. on the way home from work, off to target i went, and picked up an awfully expensive dyson. because if it's that pricey it's gotta be awesome, right?

you see where this is going.

saturday morning we plugged it in, and it sucked - and not in the good, vacuum-related sense. the motor that runs the spinny brush thingy (technical term) died after five minutes. a $400 vacuum couldn't make it more than five minutes in our house. more sighing ensued.

so back to target i went. oh, by the way? there are no targets in santa monica. it's at least a half-hour drive in bumper-to-bumper most of the way. when i got there? i realized i'd left the receipt on my desk - which happens to be in my house, not in my car. can we sigh again?

finally, with my saturday completely sapped, i had a new, moderately priced vacuum with good reviews that works - at least for now.

with all the bad house mojo lately, it was definitely time to hang the mezuzah bonnie gifted us.


it's the most beautiful mezuzah i've ever seen - i didn't know anyone made 'em quite like this. (and yes, it's supposed to be crooked - that, at least, was on purpose!)


and sunday i got a bit of knitting in.


and this morning, when i got the office, my bloom-less six-month-old orchid was in bloom again.

february, i'm glad you're here.