Monday, May 26, 2008

I'm a Goner

Two Easters ago I visited Winterthur Museum to see there quilt exhibition. A majority of the quilts were single fabric tops or trapunto quilting, which is lovely, but not my thing. There were a few patchwork quilts that were gorgeous. The best was this hexagon quilt below.

About the same time, Jan was blogging about her Grandma's Flower Garden hexagon quilt. This really appealed to me. It is vibrant, gorgeous, full of fabulous fabrics (not in my stash.)

So, in my obsessive fashion I decided to make my own hexagon quilt. The obsession quickly faded though. Hexagon quilts are hand-sewn. There really isn't just an easy way to do this on a machine, blech. And as alluded to above, I really wanted Jan's stash, not mine. Honestly, I am pretty tired of my stash, double-blech. So I only made two "flowers" before setting the idea aside.

Then along came Meg and the tantalising pictures on her blog of a blanket made of knit hexagons in Noro. I had to make this blanket and stalked her blog until the tutorial was posted. The very same day I supplemented my stash of Noro Kuryeon at Rosie's and cast-on.

It's addictive...very very addictive. Noro has always been my one of my favorites because of the beautiful color progressions and this blanket optimizes that.

Bye-bye entrelac. I have a new obsession.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It was a lazy, fun weekend. It started with breakfast at Sandy's, my favorite diner. After my "usual" french toast, sausage and tea, I decided to hang out in the square and do some quality people watching and knitting, duh.

On the way, I did stop at Loop to score these sparkly little faceted ball buttons for my Martha (Ravelry link). The color is identical, but I think the sparkle factor makes these work beautifully without detracting from the rest of the sweater.

Martha is up to her armpits! She is just sooooo pretty and I am in love with the Manos Silk Blend. It feels great to knit with and has great stitch definition.

As you can see, supersaturated colors are dominating my world lately. The amethyst of Martha is so intense, but almost pales next to my Optic Waves Shawl (Ravelry link). It was glowing in the grass.

I worked on it while taking in all the activity in Rittenhouse Square. This shawl got a lot of attention! Almost as many people stopped to pet it as I got to pet dogs. My heart went to an adorable Corgi mix who decided he'd much rather hang out with me then his dog sitter. I almost felt bad for the dog sitter cause my new friend started to cry every time the sitter tried to leave.

And my extra bonus for the day was getting to meet Mindy's parents. I let them know from all the peeps how important she has become in record time to our group of friends. Seriously, Mindy, its going to be hard letting you go to NYC, but a lot easier than TX!

Sunday found Marissa, Regina and moi basking in the presence of the Yarnharlot, aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She was part of the Free Library of Philadelphia Book Fair. Stephanie was a lot of fun and I am really hoping that she does eventually post her talk on her blog. Our hands were too busy knitting to take notes. My disappointment was with the turn out. Philadelphia knitters really let her down, this is the Yarnharlot, folks! Where the hell where you? Only really superlative excuses will be accepted, doing laundry...not a good excuse...husband graduating from overpriced business school? We'll let you slide. I saw lots of advertising for the book fair, but not a lot for Stephanie.

Oh, and she totally loved the name Degenerknitters!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Catalogue of my Literary Pretensions

I've seen this meme on a few blogs and it piqued my interest to see how my reading stacked up.

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights

The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov

Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World

The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo

A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Miserables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes: a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion

Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers, I think I do much better on the classics rather than contemporary works. What surprised me most was the omission of any Camus. I was hoping for bonus pretension points for reading L'Etrange in French. Ok, so I read it in French and understood zippo. Give me a break, what high school junior gives a crap about or understands existentialism? At that point in our lives, don't we all believe that are destiny is controlled by fascist vice principles and college guidance counselors?

Wow, did I digress...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

So soft and juicy

The Tenley Circle Studio Sock yarn from the Neighborhood Fiber Co. really grabbed my attention, but adding the Alchemy Haiku in Kai's Goldfish is the "BAM!" If only I could add Haiku to everything in my life.

The Optic Waves Shawl from Clara Parkes, The Knitters Book of Yarn is a really easy lace pattern and so far a really satisfying knit. I was really disturbed to hear that the sample shawl from the book had been stolen at MDS&W from the Brooks Farm booth. And so in honor of shawls gone by I cast on, and am having trouble putting it down.

Bunch of the gals met up this afternoon for a some knitting and spinning 101 in Rittenhouse Square. The weather let us down a bit, it was chilly and very cloudy, but at least it didn't rain.

The weather may have let us down, but there was much laughter and fun. We also attracted a group of wee would be knitters who got to play with their first bits of Koigu...start 'em young on the good stuff!

Before we hit the park, some of us stopped at Rosie's and dove into the Koigu mill-ends. I brought some of my stashed mill-ends from past years to see if I could flesh it out for some projects. These fab pinky orange skeins are going to be a Baby Surprise sweater for Amy's newly born daughter, Danielle Rae.

And because a lovely new crop of full skeins came with the mill-ends, I swapped some blue skeins for these lovely green ones. I have a little green Koigu thing going on these days! I have Maude in mind for these lovelies.