Friday, August 30, 2013

Things & Happenings

1. Kathy is having a Swap over at her blog. I've never done one before, but I'm going to give it go. Sounds like fun!

2. I finished that damn shrug. The sleeves look long, and it just seems larger than I was expecting even for 12 - 18 mos, but I think it works as a layer -- for a 2 year old. My displeasure at the sizing will of course make me feel obligated to knit something else for the cutie patootie. (Sorry no photo of the final FO I really just wanted to get it out the door. But it's done!)

3. Speaking of baby knits, my friend sent me a picture of that stroller blanket in action. I might give this pattern another crack for my cousin's baby.

4. I spoke of Starteritis and the question is, with two of my projects looking to be done for this weekend, it would make too much sense to just finish the other 2 I have on the needles, so now what? I have decided to take a crack at the Entrechat shrug (yes a little shrug obsessed right now.) Maryzona on the "Favorite Pattern" discussion for MySistersKnitter KAL recommended it. So, I'm off the to the races.

5. But really who can start just ONE project right? I mean what's the point of that stash and those containers of needles, otherwise?? I've been obsessively watching Luther with the Manfriend. (new season is debuting on BBC America on Tuesday). The story is fantastic. We didn't read any specifics before we started watching, and seeing the story and characters unfold has been dreamy.

Oh Idris, you can make questionable moral decisions anytime with me.

Idris Elba has such amazing charisma on screen. Honestly, it's not just about how handsome I think he is. Anyhow, one of the characters, Alice has a really great collection of knitted hats. She wears beret-like hats, so this has inspired me to this Autumn Whirlpool. I have just the Madelinetosh sock waiting.

6. I think like many of you, this weekend I'm looking to laze about, spend some quality time with my family and crafts. If I can throw in one "easy bake". I hope to post some of the long weekend adventures before the end of it, and to read some of yours!

7. I am decidedly a little addicted to Candy Crush. I find myself sneaking time to play before dinner etc. My son busts me and it's not a pretty scene, this parental role reversal.

8. Lastly, if you haven't had a chance, or you have some friends who want to throw their hat in for the raffle. Post here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Long Weekend Giveaway

The Labor Day long weekend is ... a comin' ... but not quite here.

However I am in full anticipation mode. I'm excited. I'm ready to stay-cate. (stay-knitcation?).

And to celebrate, I've got a nice new copy of Knitdcene's fantastic 2013 Accessory Issue ($15 retail)  and a set of  nice Knitifacts  ringlet stitch markers I'd like to give away. Nothing fancy just a little token of happiness.

Just leave a comment with either an email address or Ravelry handle or with some way to contact you by end of the long weekend, Monday September 2nd on THIS post. I will use either the online random number generator or make my kid pick a number out of a hat, (we're fancy like that.) and we'll have a winner posted on Tuesday the 3rd.

If you feel like telling us what you plan on doing with the long weekend; work, hula-hoop, try earth worm crudo, whatever, that's great, that's a bonus. If you want to tell me that I'm a bit bonkers, that's okay, too, just do it politely.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

And Back To The Normal

... whatever the heck that is. Possibly indecision based on my last post. And thank all of you for your validation and confessions that knitting is fun. And if we are a little slutty in the way we knit about our projects ... we're enjoying ourselves, damn it. It's empowering.

We flew home last Friday evening and the next day was the back to school BBQ. I also ended up leveling classrooms Saturday and Sunday afternoon.That whittled away what was supposed to be knitting and laundry time.

I managed to find some time to knit on Saturday evening. I worked on my hitchhiker. It was the only thing I brought with me to New York, since I was realistic and knew there would not be enough knitting time.

Best places I knit? Empire State Building's Disneyland-esque line and the Bay Cruise to see Lady Liberty, though it was mainly waiting for the cruise to get going, since the cityscape is so lovely.

Sunday I had to do this thing called grocery shop and cook. You know, where you buy food and then  put heat and food together. Crazy right? It was a simple Thai meal of fried omelet, rice, stir-fried cabbage, pan rendered pork belly cracklings and raw cucumbers. Still, this cooking thing, I forgot it takes time!

I tried like so many of you, to put together a menu for the week, but really all I can do is think about pancakes. I blame Kathy who has been talking up the importance and tastiness of breakfast. I will do better next week. I think I'm bringing back Tuesday Taco night. What's your favorite mid-week meal?

School has started and now the Kid is packing his own lunch. (We were slow getting on this self sustained train.) He went shopping with his father on Saturday. He was so pleased with himself, he text his dad a picture of his lunch. He wouldn't even let me put crackers in a paper bag for him, because he wanted to do it himself.

Don't mind the clutter in our kitchen. It's a messy way of life, but it's our way of life. (my son is anti-plastic baggy, this started when he was 5, so now we get pastry bags and use plastic-ware a lot.)

I had a deadline today at work, so I hit the re-entry fuzzy, and stressed, but I got it done. And now I daydream of knitting. (Back to normal, see?)

Tonight I want to work on the baby shrug.

 I wanted it done for a family for the first day of school, but I am slacking. New patterns require thought, because I can't see it until after I do it (why is that? oh yeah, I'm not that clever). I am not enjoying this construction to be honest.  I will finish it this weekend and I can add it to Andi's knit along / finish along accomplishments. I don't think I've ever added a photo from my phone to a group before. Do you guys update Ravelry from your phone?

Now that I have the computer set up, and we're all back at it, I will have to spend a bunch of time catching up on the blogs. I love seeing what you all are up to.

I just read somewhere that I have to "claim my blog". I can't remember whose blog told me this, but so it goes. Thanks Internet! I admit, I do like the Bloglovin' app on my phone.

This is just house keeping...
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Well that's my scattered brain normal for now. Tell me how your normal goes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Startitis is coming on.

I have a strong desire to knit something new.

But I really want to finish my WIPS.

But I want to start something new.

I want to work from the stash. I want to do something I don't have the yarn for.

I need to finish something in progress.

Can you feel my pain?

Monday, August 19, 2013

What I got in NYC

HM gave me a gift certificate to Purl Soho (Thanks HM!!) and I made an effort for a focused purchase. I went with one of their patterns, the rib-wise tank. I admit it's more of a summer knit, than for the fall, but maybe it will languish in the stash until spring. Don't be surprised, I won't be.

I also got myself a project bag souvenir.

Then I fingered a bunch of samples and was drawn to some soft textured scarves. It turned out a) it was cashmere and b) a kit I could find elsewhere. But I went with the moment.

Xmas husband gift in the plans ... Must add a note to not wash. He shrinks and felts and washes his entire world.

We got a family package promo (always check the hotels website, compare with discount portal sites AND call for best deals). This jr. Suite deal came with a free haircut for dad at the barber shop and blow out for mom.

Do you know what these things are? They wash your hair and blow dry style it. I have never done this before. It was very Barbie and very fun. I asked for more volume than sleek (since I usually am an air dry flat boring town kind of gal). But not so much volume as a Southern Belle. (No seriously, this is a style you can request, I'm not mocking anyone.)

So here we go before (yes, tired, no coffee.) My head is really big, non?


After with tucked ears:


Do you try new things on holiday with your look or style?

Do you go yarn crazy away from home of do you think of the stash and / or what will fit in carry-on?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Last days of family holiday 2013

The last few days were spent swimming at the hotel pool and doing a lot more walking.

There were more museum visits.

I had never been to the natural history museum before.

I liked the detail in a lamp post in the lobby.

Some modern art:

More eating

Thank you New York. 

And thanks friends for letting me document the good times. 

Wishing you all happy days away and at home.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Family holiday: day 4

Continuing in our typical tourist fashion we headed to The Empire State Building. The building is yet another featured in many of The Kid's books and, he enjoys an observation deck. To me it is just a breath taking reminder of the greatness of the city.

From there a taxi to Hell's Kitchen, where we had some German food and beer. I think it's more of an evening drinker place. Everyone was nice but the food was ok. Maybe better if you're hungry drinking?

After that we walked towards the river to take a river cruise to see the lady liberty.

It's large but I imagined it larger. We didn't land, but that didn't really interest us. Ellis island's beauty and history is more drawing alas it's closed for some restoration. Something else for "next time".

A nice leisurely walk back some snacking happened:

I admit at this point we split up. I went along 5th ave to shop a little. Badette told me about a Canadian brand called joe fresh that had super affordable clothes. We pack really lightly and everyone could use one extra item.

I came away with more than one. But I got a shirt for $5 and even another pair of exercise leggings for way less than even mother ship Target. They weren't selling kids so I admit I just did a big loop and got the boys a shirt at safe as gravy GAP.

I still got back later-- walking! They had already eaten some take away. (The burger bar inside the hotel is really good) The husband stood in line at 53rd for halal gyro. For some reason (white sauce) that one always has a line.

So I went down the street on my own and brought my book and had a wonderful bowl of shredded beef and scallion Korean soup at Chom Chom. My phone was dead so no pics HM.

So I got a little solo time and another fabulous meal.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 3: part 2-- Dinner at Marea

Such indulgence is a little embarrassing, but so good.

Everyone enjoyed the meal.

Near enough to walk to and from. Fantastic service and dreamy eats. The clientele seemed nice enough, if not rather socio-economically homogenous. It's not just about wealth or color, but style and grooming. We might've appeared a little out of place. 

Amuse bouche - cured salmon, radish on rice cracker ( sorry fuzzy)

Oysters local style

Deconstructed tuna confit

Pasta - cheese filled dumpling with sweet corn, brown butter and sage. The Kid said it was the best sauce.

Pasta out of focus octopus and bone marrow fusilli 

Pasta-braised pork shoulder, plums,  pesto and pistachio

Fish- durade shared.

Accompanying sauces

Hi jinks ensued.

And dessert - peppermint chip, white espresso (sooo good), and apricot. Complimentary dark chocolate.

Complimentary profiteroles 

Vin Santo - wine of saints

The end.

Family Holiday NYC 2013: Day 3

It seems our family is a bunch of sleepy heads. Day 3 and we still couldn't get the lead out in the morning. 

We went to Norma's for breakfast. The portions are huge, perhaps to help justify the expense. My friend from Zumba who gave me the rec warned me, but she spoke so fondly of mother / daughter weekend getaway breakfasts that when I heard it was in our hotel...I had to give it a try.

I had crab cake(s) they give you 2 -- but really?!? The Kid said his scrambled quesadilla with bacon was too salty. We realized it was the tortilla, and it was salvageable. The husband had enough smoked salmon on his plate to feed a small cocktail party.

No pictures, business conference breakfasters and the morning brain fog did not make it worth the effort.

Now don't get me wrong, Norma's was not bad, just not spot on for us.
It was pouring rain that day. The husband had us take the D along the west side, but we wanted the B which stops at ... Our stop, ha!

It was fine, we doubled back along the line, and the subway here hauls. 

when we came up-top, it was coming down hard and consistent. 
Then we trudged through the watery path in Central Park to The Met.

I was happy and excited to see this place again. I warned the boys about the size and that rainy day crowds would be wacky. (I admit I used my "mom voice" on a lady that tried to cut the audio tour line. But really, a little consideration is not too much to ask)

When the kid was starving again, they got a NYC hot dog and we split up.

I got stuck visiting the familiar and old friends. I remember studying and I felt young for a moment.

 Why, hello there Homer Winslow!

Thomas Eakins pairs knitting with elder wisdom, love it.

Mary Cassat was a fan of the Crochet apparently.

Ahh the scale this place is capable of displaying is really awesome.

Even the visible storage is impressive.

There was so much more but I won't bore you to tears with all my snaps. I did get a few good details of knitwear in the Punk: chaos to couture exhibit until they told me no photos were allowed for the special exhibit. And since I know they are contraband I cannot share them with you without feeling guilty. Sorry pants.

A quick snack for the kid and a beer on Madison ave. and our first bus ride back to the hotel.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 2: Part 3

Yes there was more to that fabulous action packed day.

After we swam and rested we suddenly realized we were pressed for time to eat before our next function. Obviously we had a big lunch but we were going to see a show!! We knew there was no way the kid would make it without something in his skinny belly.

Time was short, street food was discussed, faster walking ensued and then we stumbled upon Bryant Park which was in the full throes of pre movie showing with food stalls and beer.

Quick dinner, tada!

The husband's aracini one was squid ink the other ragu and peas.

The Kid's ribeye sliders.

My Japanese vegetable and pork pancake. Delicious!

Then we saw a broadway musical.

What a fun experience! The Kid thought it was pretty good, but I don't think he's going to request any dramatic classes just yet.

When we toddled out of the theater The Kid was mesmerized by the bright lights big city aspect of Times Square.

He had brought his pocket money with him "just in case" we went near the toys r us for his poster. They were sold out, still.

Small disappointments happen on great days. No matter, a solid sleep was coming.

Day 2 Part 2

While I ducked into Purl Soho and a few other cute shops, the boys walked through Chinatown and little Italy. I met up with them as they were finishing off gelato and espresso.

We joked that I took this next picture because the lady in orange looked like my mom.

Dragon fruit!

We headed back towards 5th Ave. taking it all in.

We are truly amazed at how the foreign tourists will wait in line to go to stores like Hollister and Abercrombie. Personally I think Asians shouldn't give them any hard earned money.

We are also surprised we don't see as many dogs as in San Francisco. New York is more family friendly than we expected. 

Our feet needed a little rest so we hoofed back to the hotel for a quick swim and shower and some relaxing.

New York is fun, but you have to move fast to keep up with her.