Yesterday, when I came home, I said to Adam, “Do you smell kind of a poop smell?” And he said, “Yeah, it smells kind of like an animal.” I groaned and wondered  where  the strange smell was coming from. Adam investigated and then he sat down and said, “I have discovered the source…YOUR KNITTING.” It’s true–I washed all of my mittens and stuff (with an odorless wash) to put away for the summer and they were emanating a sheep-y woolen smell. It was like the spirit of the sheep had come alive. We’re wool and we smell!! Thankfully, the sheep smell goes away once the stuff is dry.

Posted in Finished Objects 2008, Uncategorized at May 28th, 2009.

Blanket Square

On Saturday night, Adam and I tried to go a bunch of restaurants, all of which had an hour and more waits (sometimes, I’m like people! We’re in a recession!), and at some point, we were waiting for a table at Pastis.

I like Pastis a lot–it’s a fake Parisian brasserie and I think it’s considered very “New York” by non-New Yorkers, and thus, was overrun with tourists and Fleet Week sailors, hence the long wait–though I think it’s pretty much past its prime for New York foodies (It opened in 1999, so jaded New Yorkers are over it, of course.) I have a fondness for “fake” New York restaurants; I had drinks last week at The Rusty Knot, and I told Adam he would have either loved or hated it–it must have cost the owners a fortune to re-create what is essentially a 1970s Midwestern dive bar (complete with Christmas lights and tiki furniture), but instead of being populated by Midwestern hipsters, it was all first-year Wall Street men and their girlfriends, in chambray button-downs and linen sheaths. There’s an element of New York that is a simulacrum of its cinematic self, and I have a fondness for these places that try to give us a cinematic backdrop to live our lives, even if they’re more sets than reality. 

Anyway, while I was waiting, I was knitting on my afghan square, and at some point, I was like, “Do you think me knitting is going to hurt our chances of getting a table?” Adam looked at me, wearing Crocs and a jacket from Forever 21, knitting, surrounded by soft shiny silk mini-dresses and linen blazers, and he was like, “Um, yes.” 

(We ended eating at a diner with no wait.)

Posted in travelingproject, Uncategorized at May 26th, 2009.

Stripe Shawl

Pattern: Silk kerchief, by Kate Osborn, of Zeitgeist Yarns

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden sock, 1 ball 269 (from the now-defunct Point) and 1 ball 245 (from Knit Therapy, in Park Slope, Brooklyn). (These are the colors that Kate used in her original version. I’m a follower, what can I say. Also worth noting that the ball from The Point’s original price was a good $3 more expensive that the one from Knit Therapy–though I bought it at 30% off.)

Needles: Um, I forgot–either a size 4 or a size 5 Addi Turbo lace.

Project started/finished: I started this in California, in the beginning of April and finished on May 23, so about two months.

Stripe Shawl

Modifications: Since I used the same colors as Kate, I can’t really say I made any significant modifications. I used a bigger needle to make it a little bigger, and I used up both skeins to make it a bigger size. This is really a beautiful project and super easy to make–perfect for hospital waiting rooms and the subway. If I didn’t already have a huge stash of other yarn, I would buy a whole bunch more of Noro sock and make more. (Or a sweater with a similar garter stripe pattern.) Even Adam said that it was one of the cooler knit projects I had made.

Stripe Shawl

Photo shoot notes: These are taken at the Bronx Zoo. This August, I will have lived in New York (on and off) for thirteen years, and somehow I had never been to the zoo. Anyway, it was nice, though it was a bit more like a giant park than a zoo–I only ended up seeing one tiger and some penguins. (Also, I didn’t miraculously start doing sit-ups, Adam just reminded me to suck in my belly when he was taking the photos!)

Recently I was at a party, and I was making fun of someone I had just met (I know, I’m so polite) because he had never heard of Hot and Crusty (it’s a chain of bakeries on the Upper East Side here), and I was like, “Are you not a New Yorker?” He didn’t seem particularly offended, and he said, “Well, I’ve lived here two years, and I guess they say ten years makes you a New Yorker, right?” I stopped, and I was kind of surprised to hear that. When I’m not in New York and people ask me where I’m from, I still generally say California, but when this guy said this, I realized that I’ve lived here almost thirteen years, which is 42% of my life–and 100% of my adult life. I like to joke about being old, but sometimes I come across a milestone, and I think wow, maybe I AM old. I went drinking at 1020, a college dive bar (that we used to actually drink at during college) with a friend for her birthday, and I was like, seriously? We used to drink here ten years ago? How can that be? But it did feel like a long time ago (even though they were still playing The Cure, just like when I was in college). I guess this time of year–graduation, prom, the start of summer–always makes me nostalgic, even for things that I don’t have particularly John Hughes-esque memories of. It’s like the movies implanted fake memories onto my own real life. (Though I do remember drinking at 1020 the night before my college graduation–a mix of champagne at parties and white russians at the bar–so I guess this week was weirdly reminiscent of my own actual past.)

Happy Memorial Day and cheers to the start of summer.

Posted in Finished Objects 2009, Shawls, Uncategorized at May 25th, 2009.

As I mentioned a while ago, I participated in a “Creativity Study” at NYU’s business school. I went to Purl, the yarn store, and picked out a bunch of Cascade 220 (they were pre-wound into little skeins) and then I was given a week to knit any kind of scarf I wanted (they provided size 8 straight needles) for a three-year old girl. Since I only had a week, and I also ended up going to Milwaukee at the end of that week, mine was pretty short:

NYU Scarf

Basically, you tied it around your neck like a weird cuff. The graduate student who helped administer the study was very nice, plus all participants received a $20 gift certificate to Purl at the end of the study. (This was during the period I was doing odd things like working as an extra on Law and Order, a state that I am returning to next week, after I finish this freelance project.) I actually did find the experience very freeing because I knew that the project was (a) not for me and (b) not made with yarn paid for by me (yet in colors chosen by me). When I make something for myself, I’m kind of a perfectionist about things turning out well. I doubt I would have ever knit something like this for myself and it made me realize I should try designing stuff for myself more, instead of just following patterns.

NYU Scarf

At the end of the study, the participants filled out a questionnaire about our feelings about creativity and making the scarf, and the graduate student administering the study explained that they were trying to judge whether consumers were more or less creative when presented with more or fewer choices of yarn colors. (Some participants had a choice of six colors to choose from and some had twelve, or something like that.) I asked how the scarves were going to be judged and she said by the professor in charge of the study; Joelle Hoverson, the owner of Purl; and….Brooklyn Tweed!!! The graduate student was all, “This guy named Jared Flood? He has a blog called Brooklyn Tweed?” And then I was like, oh no! But I never found out what happened with the study, so I hope my scarf did okay–go little scarf, go!

NYU Scarf

We were told not to look at knitting books and magazines, and I came up with a slipped stitch for the ends of the scarf, and an intarsia cable for the middle. Anyway, I thought I would blog it before I forget.

Posted in Finished Objects 2009, Scarves, Uncategorized at May 20th, 2009.


I know some people knit stuff and then never wear their finished objects, but I actually do wear most of mine a lot. I thought I would include a shot of something I made  in action, so you can see how I actually wear stuff, not just when they’re styled for the blog, which tends to focus on the knitting, rather than how it looks in real life. This is the Burgundy Bat Shawl from last year. I mainly kept it at the office as an in-between layer for the mysterious heat/air-conditioning battles, but now that I’m freelance, I’m trying to incorporate it more into my daily wardrobe. 

This was the weekend of street fairs–the official sign of the start of New York’s summer season. On Saturday, we walked up from 53rd to 82nd St., with a street fair along the way. Today, on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, it was the exact same street fair, including the same ShamWow guy. One year, I bought this really cool chopping gadget–you put all your vegetables into a bowl, you spun the handle, and voila, all your vegetables were chopped! I haven’t seen that item at a street fair for a while though. Yesterday and today I only saw the usual meat-on-a-stick and strange undergarments.

I also knit through an afternoon showing of Star Trek, which I enjoyed, even though I had never seen a single episode of any of the television shows or movies (a fact that horrifies Adam). I totally didn’t recognize Winona Ryder as Spock’s mom:


This scene, by the way, is not in the movie–but I think Spock’s mom is clutching something knit, with many many bobbles on it. I will say that there was a scene where Spock (the old Spock, not the younger Spock) had this awesome jacket that had a really neat hood that snapped around his neck and face that I wanted to copy. Anyway, knit long and prosper.

Posted in Shawls, travelingproject, Uncategorized at May 17th, 2009.


I love the flowers every spring–look at these irises! I’m almost done with the shawlette–I have a few more stripes to go and then I’ll block it and see how it goes.

I looked up my horoscope, and apparently, last week, Mercury was in retrograde on the 6th! Perhaps astrology is true. I think that part of my problem is that I gave up caffeine (because of the acid) and it is very very hard for me. Basically, I’m going around complaining like a former crack user and suffering from constant cravings for it. The lack of caffeine also makes me tired and grouchy. I may have to go back to caffeine, my dark master.

Let’s see…what else. Adam and I went to see Valentino: The Last Emperor, a documentary about the fashion designer. It wasn’t necessarily the best documentary, but it was enjoyable, and I was touched by the love story at the heart of the movie, between Valentino and his business/life partner Giancarlo Giametti. I read a funny interview with the Matt Tyrnauer, the director, on, where he describes the movie as “geriatric Brokeback Mountain,”  which I think is a pretty accurate description. There’s one moment–when Valentino is receiving the Legion of Honor and there’s a possibility that Valentino might not thank Giancarlo–that is really kind of a surprisingly anxious moment for the audience. When Valentino starts to cry, I think everyone in the theater kind of choked up too. 

Posted in travelingproject, Uncategorized at May 11th, 2009.

Okay, so I was thinking I was going to write a post about how mercury is in renegade, because everyone I know, including myself, is stressed out, but then I googled the phrase and realized the phrase is “mercury in retrograde,” which doesn’t make any sense to me.

I told my friend that I am thinking of abandoning traditional methods of dealing with stress–journaling, reading, knitting, exercising, therapy, etc–and taking up with the woo, like shelling out for a psychic, because I find life needing more quick solutions. She was all for the psychic, claiming it was awesome. I have not yet completely embraced the woo, but I also told a different friend that for one of the first times in my life I wished I had endless piles of money, and he suggested–oddly, since he is normally relatively rational–that we go in on the lottery together. So at this point, the solution to my life problems is becoming a lottery jackpot winner, as predicted by a psychic. Great.

My normal methods of coping–trying on all the clothes in my closet and watching When Harry Met Sally, if you must know–have been thwarted because (a) I need to clean my apartment and (b) Blockbuster stopped renting VHS tapes and I only have a VHS player. (Yes, I do have a laptop, but it’s not quite the same.) In college, one of my friends told me I should just buy When Harry Met Sally, since I am overcome with a desire to watch it at least twice a year, and clearly, I should have heeded her advice. (I also am overcome with the desire to watch Center Stage on a regular basis, proving that I have terrible taste in movies.)

Anyway, I think everything I have to deal with is relatively dealable with, but hey! Maybe it is because mercury is in retrograde, whatever that means. 

Knitting-wise, this means the only thing I can knit is stockinette or garter stitch. Anyway, off to clean my apartment and knit a little before going to sleep.

Posted in Uncategorized at May 6th, 2009.


I’ve been thinking a lot about how much we, as bloggers, share on the internet about our personal lives. I like to steer toward less info about my personal life and more about knitting, but I wonder if it’s weird NOT to share about our personal lives occasionally. I know that I was really saddened to hear about the passing of Kay’s husband over at Mason-Dixon Knitting. I have never met Kay, I just read her blog, but I was glad that she and Ann told their readers. Reading a blog makes you feel connected to the blog’s writer, even if you don’t actually know them.

So, in the spirit of a bit more sharing, I’m back in New York, as I mentioned. My dad has been diagnosed with sclerosing mesenteritis, an extremely rare disease–about 300 people have ever had it in the recorded history of modern medicine–and he started taking some medicine to treat it, and we are hoping that it will be helpful. As far as work goes, I’m going to be working on a demanding freelance project next week, so we’ll see how that goes. And in other news, I also went to the new Citi Field to watch the Mets play (they lost to the Marlins, 2-3) and ate a Shake Shack burger.

In yarn news, The Point closed this week. I stopped by and picked up a few balls of yarn, and it was filled with knitting mourners. The Point is the fourth knitting store to close this year, after Yarn Connection, Stitches East, and Knit New York. It’s probably a sign of the economy that weaker stores are struggling or leery of making new lease commitments. People often ask me about my favorite yarn stores and I am hoping that those three will survive the downturn: Purl, Knitty City, and Downtown Yarns. I think Purl and Knitty City are pretty safe–Purl has kind of a unique upscale niche going, and Knitty City has a huge selection (and a huge staff), and they both seem to always be hosting lots of events. Downtown Yarns is a bit more vulnerable I think, and I hope it will survive because I really like their staff, yarn selection, and vibe.

As for the photos, Adam and I went to the cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (which was strangely overrun by cosplay fans–it seemed to be part of the festival), and checked out all the flowers.

Sakura Matsuri

Posted in personal, Shawls, travelingproject, Uncategorized at May 2nd, 2009.