I LOVE the fall! I mean I love it. I love the crisp feel in the air, I love the smell of fireplaces in Park Slope, I love the sound of the leaves under my feet, and of course . . . I love the sweaters. Despite all the hours I spend at the shop, I’ve still done a lot of knitting and a lot of living in the last two weeks. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted.
Two Mondays ago, my pal Tim and I took a road trip to Tarrytown. We went to a really cool place called Phillipsburg Manor.
It was a spectacularly pretty fall day. Blue sky, high 60s – perfect! The only blight to the day was the hour long search for parking on my return to Park Slope, and my Seinfeld-like confrontation with someone who tried to front into a spot I was backing into. Long story short, the space was mine.
Last Friday David made sure that I would leave work on time by booking us onto a harbor cruise. It was really great. Kind of a misty chilly night. First we ran into my old friend Sara Brians on the dock.
This weekend I cast off the Vogue winter 2005/2006 eyelet pullover. It would look better on a taller gal, but whatever. I sat up in the garden and did the finishing. It was sunny and WINDY, and it was SOOO great to sit in the sun and knit.
Here’s what it’s supposed to look like. Note, the model is sitting, showing the sweater to its best effect:
Since I cast something off for me (or as David points out . . . 19 sweaters for me, 1 for him), it was time to cast on David’s sweater. I’m using the dreamy Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed, and my own hand spun for the strip. Here it is so far
It was knit in cashmere, but I’m using Rowan Tapestry. The yarn is a super cool blend of wool and soy with subtle stripping.
Here’s how the three rows look (that’s as far as I got before David said “where’s my sweater?”)
Sunday night we went to the Jack o Lantern Blaze . . . amazing. That is a post in and of itself. I’ll write about that tonight. Tragically, my camera battery died, but my pal Tim sent me his pics. I’ll just leave you with these words . . . 4,500 jack o lanterns!
I think I’ve recovered from the last two weeks. It’s hard to tell. Starting a new job at the same time as that industry enters its busiest time at the same time that you’re gearing up for the largest sale of the year is NOT easy. I worked 14 days straight getting ready for the HUGE sale we had last weekend at The Point. The sale went really well, and we collected several giant boxes worth of yarn for charity.
The last two weeks I’ve done nothing but sleep and work. If it weren’t for the subway I wouldn’t have gotten any knitting done at all. It’s odd to be surrounded by yarn all day, but not knit. I did use my dreamy employee discount to snatch up 8 balls of the brand new Rowan Tapestry (just hit the floor for the fall). It cracks me up how fast the employees scoop up the new yarns when they come in. The Rowan Big Wool took a major hit before it even got out of the basement. The fall yarn line is soooooooooooo pretty, it’s hard to know where to start. When the Twinkle arrives, stand back for the stampede.
Sunday I did nothing but try to recover from the last two weeks, and to get myself organized for what’s ahead at work (So much stuff coming up). On Sunday night I curled up on the couch with a glass of wine to watch the Emmys. I TOTALLY forgot that my cast from Jersey Boys was performing. Why you may ask? They were doing a tribute to the Sopranos. They were awsome, I was so proud.
Today I went up to access the major damage to our garden
Thanks to the subway, I was able to do some knitting. I cast off one simple sweater (from left over Rowan Polar and some baby yarn)
The count down begins. I have 8 more shows, 6 more days, 4 rehearsals left of Jersey Boys before I’m HOME. . . . back in Park Slope, back in my own bed, sitting in my garden. Then, a week from today I will start my training at The Point. Yeah! I should be packing today since Wed – Sun I need to be at the theatre at noon. I’m avoiding it by blogging and watching The Colbert Report. I’ve been here for nine months, so I have a LOT to pack.
Yesterday was a big day for cast offs and stash busting. I finished two of the “left over cotton projects”. My mother in law gave me a ton of white and red cotton yarn. She had been given a half finished sweater that neither of us liked or wanted to finish, so we frogged it and reballed it. First I made the white cotton cable sweater
The pattern called for the sweater to be knit straight (with no side shaping),
but I added side shaping since cotton has no negative ease. It turned out pretty good, but I could have gone narrower in the waist. I really like the cable on the shoulder and the roll neck line.
I still have a lot of white cotton left, but not enough to do the lace cardigan in Vogue’s summer 07 issue, so I’ll buy some more. Why is it that the attempted stash busting always lead to buying more yarn??? Does that happen to any of you?
As for the red cotton. I whipped up this little cable tank.
Next cast off from yesterday was a simple garter stitch triangular shawl/scarf. It was made from some cool black and white boucle yarn (more Mother in law left overs!) mixed with a ball of leftover black mohair from my cotton/mohair sweater.
Of course you can’t have cast offs, without cast ons. Continuing my trend of stash busting, I’m making a little lace bolero from my two leftover skeins of Rowan Polar from my Winterwonderland sweater.
That’s count down, cast offs, and now to the goodbyes . . . Yesterday was my last Monday with Chicks with Sticks. Sadly I could only stay a half hour (more about that later). I was glad I came by, but sorry I missed so many folks. I can’t thank this group enough for welcoming a stranger into their midst nine months ago. It’s been my home away from home and, many weeks, has been the only part of my week that I’ve liked. This group was a big part of my decision to change my career and my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I ended my evening going to a benefit performance for BCEFA. It was a join effort by the casts of Jersey Boys and Avenue Q. They were great! Some highlights for me . . . the puppets of Avenue Q auditioning for Jersey Boys singing “God I hope I get it” from Chorus Line. The swings from Jersey Boys singing about how hard it is to be understudying all those roles to the tune of Avenue Q’s song “It sucks to be me”, but the winner has to be Jake Speck’s original country music song – wait for it – “You’re only gay if you take it”. Beyond words.
Right before intermission was the auction. At one point when the bidding had slowed John Hickman offered to put on a red bra if they got a bid of $1300
When last we left our heroes. . . they were leaving Cinque Terre and taking the (maybe crazy) four different trains to get to Venice. That’s right folks, three different train transfers. We only have 10 minutes to make the first train transfer. Our first train is (ahem . . . ) 12 minutes late. We’re screwed. But wait, a clever couple (not us) asks the conductor to radio ahead to the next station to have the train (that we were trying to catch) held. YEAH, one mad dash and the next two train transfers went without a hitch. We arrived in Venice just in time to check into our hotel in the Lido, clean up and take the Vaparetto back to Venice to see the Grand Canal in some pretty dramatic light.
Here’s the famous San Marco from the Grand Canal.
We spent the evening wandering through the lovely streets, weaving around the tiny inner canals. We’ve been to Venice before and hit all the big tourist places, so this time around we were free to enjoy the city and just wander. After a nice dinner and a rainy Vaparetto ride back to the Lido it was time for sleep and 1 1/2 more fabulous days in Venice.
The next morning started overcast and chilly and then turned sunny and gorgeous.
After spending the morning strolling and eating. . . it was time for a knitting break. Sitting by the Grand Canal with San Marco in the background seemed like a good spot.
The next day there was more “knitting by landmarks”
If you haven’t been to Venice. Sign up for some fare watcher alert e-mails. Find and off season flight and GO. I love this city. It’s even more beautiful at night, but the camera could really capture how beautiful it was
The next morning we enjoyed our last 1/2 day in Venice doing what we do . . . walking, eating, taking photos. Before we took our plane back to London. We were only spending one night in London just to make our flight in the morning easier.
Because we were only sleeping in London, we booked a small hotel by a convenient rail station. London is crazy expensive, so we spent a whopping $100 for a room with no breakfast. This is what $100 can buy you in London:
The next morning it was time to head to the Max Jet departure lounge to eat and eat and eat. I can’t believe how much food they set out for the business class traveler. We had another fantastic plane ride home filled with food, liquor and movies.
Unfortunately, on the coach plane ride back to San Francisco, American Airlines lost my luggage AGAIN. urggg.
Thus ends my tale of Italy. Now I’ve been back in San Fran for a week and a half, with rehearsals and shows nearly every day. I did finish Jenny Lee’s bikini. So without further ado . . . My first finished object for someone other than a family member.
She was kind enough to model for me before the show outside the Jersey Boys hair room. I’m pretty thrilled with the way it turned out, and she said it’s really comfy. I love that Cascade Fixation. It really hugs the curves and it doesn’t sag at all when it gets wet. Very cool.
Here’s my personal favorite shot. Both because you can see the detail of the pattern, and because her tattoo is priceless:
I’ve been back in San Francisco for a week, but haven’t had a moment. We were putting a new Nick Massi into Jersey Boys. Members of the artistic staff were here, so we had rehearsal everyday. It’s a foggy Monday morning, so I thought I’d do a little blogging about Italy.
The trip got off to a bit of a rough start. First, my luggage was lost flying from San Francisco to New York. I was really worried I wouldn’t get it in time to go to Italy. We got my bags back the morning we left for Italy, so I had time repack the bags and head off to Kennedy. David booked us on a fancy airline called Max Jet. It’s an all business class airline. The plane looks really odd, because it’s an entire plane with seats that can fully recline. Our fun began in the departure lounge. We finally got to see what’s behind those glass doors. MUCH better than sitting at a gate. It’s full of comfy chairs and couches, computers w/internet, food and lots of liquor! Unfortunately our plane was three hours late. This meant we would miss our connection to Pisa. Fortunately because we were flying Max Jet they agreed to pay for a ticket to Pisa on another airline. This means we only ended up arriving in Pisa 1 hour later than planned. Not bad.
Flying business class is crazy. First of all, it’s non stop food and liquor, then there’s the entertainment system you’re given w/tons of movies, tv, music, etc, but best of all there’s getting a good nights sleep.
The next day we took a train to Siena and I cast on Jenny’s bikini top on the train. Then the knitting through Italy began.
First stop was the famous Campo and some lounging in the sun and knitting. David was my official knitting photographer.
After walking our feet off it was time to relax in a square and knit (me)
We bought a ticket to the Cathedral, but it wouldn’t open for an hour, so we walked around the University area, and of course, knit for a while
That morning also began what I called, “David’s job as official staff photographer of Italy”. He would never walk past any couple or family who was splitting up to take photos of each other without stopping to ask “Would you like me to take your photo”.
Speaking of photos . . .
We were cracking up at all the people posing holding up the tower. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but there were tons of people lined up having people take the same picture.
it was time to take a lovely train ride to Cinque Terre. We were staying in the town of Monterosso. Cinque Terre is on the Italian Rivera, and it’s made up of five fishing villages connected by goat trails. It was a relaxing train ride with
plenty of time to knit, read and look out the window.
This was our very first view when we got off the train
Our hotel had a tiered roof garden with fabulous views of the water. This was our first glimpse of the terraced gardens that are carved into every inch of the hills of Cinque Terre. We could not get over how much food this place grew. On our hotels little roof garden they grew lemons, grapes, plums, tomatoes, figs, squash, tons of herbs. Here’s our view
That is the new slogan for my life.
Before I left for Italy (which I will blog about later) I said I had some huge news. I have been an Equity Stage Manager for (ahem) 21 years. I’ve been thinking for some time about a life change. I often spent my day off from Jersey Boys, poking around the Internet to see what kind of jobs were out there. . . and then one day I saw it, an add for a manager of a knitting store. Hmm I thought, I wonder what store it is. When I found out it was one of my favorite stores in the world, The Point Knitting Cafe, I had to explore it. After several e-mail exchanges, I met with the owner in person, and, long story short. (drum roll please), I begin my new life as the manager of The Point on September 4th!!!!
For you New York knitters out there, many of you already know and love the shop (and if you don’t know it, run, don’t walk to 37 A Bedford Street in the Village). It’s a fantastic knitting shop and an adorable cafe all rolled into one. It’s the kind of place you can come meet up with some friends and spend the day. My friend Francesca and I could spend hours there. We would start early in the afternoon with coffee and muffins and before we knew it, four hours would go by and it was time for a salad and the worlds’ yummiest quiche.
So all you blogger/knitters out there, come by and see me. I’ll be on my own starting after Labor day and I’d love to have some friendly faces. I also really want to hear from you all. I’d love to get your thoughts on what makes your dream knitting store. What do you love, what do you hate, what do you wish you could find?
Stay tuned there will be lots of news to come. Stories of life in the store, what it’s like to learn a whole new business. I may use this blog from time to time to kick ideas around and see what you all think.
I’ll take some time over the next few days to tell the tales of my knitting through Italy. I’m back in beautiful Brooklyn and tomorrow I head back to San Francisco to finish up my time with Jersey Boys.
The two projects I took to Italy were Jenny Lee Ramos’ bikini and a cotton tank top. I mostly worked on the bikini, the tank top was for travel on planes in Europe (plastic needles!) I cast on the bikini top on the plane to London, and cast it off on the train to Venice.
The cotton cable tank (to use up some more of the cotton yarn my mother in law gave me) is also coming along:
It’s been so great to be back in Park Slope and it makes me SOOOOO excited for my permanent return in the fall. The first thing we did the morning after arriving home was do a little garden clean up and then spend a good chuck of our day enjoying the roof garden:
More later. I must sit on my roof deck now and enjoy my last day in Brooklyn for the next six weeks.
Last week was another long week at work. We had a little something to look forward to at the end of the week. Larry’s Tony party. His pre-baseball party was amazing, so I could only imagine what he and his roommate (who owns the wonderful Soluna restaurant in San Francisco) would come up with for Tony night. We were NOT disappointed. We were all told to dress in “cocktail attire”. I, of course, chose to wear a hand knit. Never pass up the opportunity to hear “you did not make that”. I wore Marnie MacLean’s Evening Diamond tank.
and, yes, I did make that.
There was one last hidden tribute to Broadway. It was not in the living room, not in the dining room. It was not even a tribute to a nominee. It was the logo to a certain (then already) doomed Broadway show, taped to the inside of the toilet seat. Since that show has posted closing, I’ll let it remain nameless.
Then there was the food!! Leave it to a restaurant owner to really put out a great spread
Me & Danny AustinJohn Michael Dias, Jake Speck, Steven Goldsmith
(looking oh so much like the San Francisco Jersey Boys version of the cast of The Godfather)
Some were rooting for their favorites. Me, I just wanted to win the Tony poll (big money, big money, big money). Turns out, I came in second. Ah well, I won a nice bottle of wine.By the end of the evening Larry was ready to call it a night. He had already changed into something a little more comfortable. Here he is on the red carpet with Jeremy Kushnier. I’ll give you a hint . . . Larry is the one to the left.
After the Tony’s were over we headed over to a bizarre nightclub called the StarLight Room. As you could guess by the name, or see by the web page. It was a bit like stepping back in time.
I didn’t get home until well after 2:30 am . . . VERY late for me these days. Monday was a very ADD day of knitting and spinning. I couldn’t seem to commit to any one project for very long. I would spin for a bit, measure & ball remainder of old yarn. At one point I was alternating between three different projects. When I go up to have a cup of coffee and saw that my little couch looked like this:
I knew it was time to focus. That’s (from left to right) Tempting II – almost finished, a simple garter stitch triangular scarf I’m doing from two left over yarns held together, and the cotton cable sweater front – almost finished.
Monday night Larry (otherwise known as Julie cruise director) set up a Jersey Boys themed movie night at his pals restaurant, Soluna. It was a double feature of All About Eve (which was filmed at the Curran Theatre), and The Blob (Jersey Boys fans will know why). I watched 3/4 or All About Eve, but then I hopped on the J train to go to Chicks with Sticks to do a little knitting with the gals.
They posted a swell pic of me in my new sweater, posing at Noe Knit. I had to steal it for my own blog.
Okay, so it’s really more like cast off, cast on, but that didn’t sound as “Karate Kid”.
I cast off two projects this week, and I’ve got two on the needles.
First I finished the sweater for my sister. It was a really a fast knit. I didn’t use a pattern, I just figured my gauge, and knit it to my own body. It came out so cute that I have to knit one for myself
Next it was my very own mohair and cotton sweater. I got the design idea from a cotton sweater with a net top and sleeves I saw in a store once. I liked the idea of using mohair for the top for a contrast of textures. I owe some of the design features to a few knitty.com designers. The basic stitch pattern from the mohair comes from the Spring Fling. The shaping I used on the sides came from the Honeymoon cami.
I’ve always wanted to do a sweater with a ruffle sleeve, and after much trial and error, I’m pretty happy with how it came out.
I also miss going to all my yarn shops in New York. I’m coming home for a few days in July, maybe I’ll go on a yarn crawl.
I’m back in San Fran. I just finished my first day back in the theatre. It was sad to leave Brooklyn. I finished Melissa’s sweaters in the nick of time. Here they are in small, medium and large. The large still has water marks on it from blocking:
My last day in Brooklyn was spent at the Wool Festival at the Brooklyn Zoo. It’s mostly for kids, but of course when you say wool, the Park Slope Knitting group comes a running.
There were the oh so fuzzy Costwolds just dying for a hair cut.
The sheep and goats were all good friends.
The kids really seemed to enjoy the animals . . . and they weren’t looking at them as potential sweaters.
Next it was time for fun with roving. The nice folks at the Brooklyn General had set up a big ole table in the monkey house and filled it with roving and spindles. Our little knitting group descended upon the roving like a pack of hungry wolves (or appropriately enough, crazed monkeys). We started digging in and spinning away:
This week has been SOOO great being back at home. Last Saturday David and I spent most of the day walking around our neighborhoods. We walked past the Gowanus Canal past the strange little art galleries, tucked into alleyways. We stopped into one place that had an exhibit based on the idea of “library”, and a match museum.
We walked and walked and walked. It felt so great to be back in NY where you don’t think anything of walking for miles. We walked from our house in the Slope, through Gowanus, to Carrol Gardens, to Cobble Hill over to Atlantic Ave.
By that time we were getting pretty tired. I was still looking for the light blue yarn for those damn sweaters that I promised Melissa (from the first national tour) that I’d make her. So, it was off to Knit a Way. Nothing jumped out at me, and we were beat, so we hopped on the subway
I’ve finally finished with the damn cotton for this sweater I’m sort of making up. I attached the mohair for the neck and it’s coming along nicely. I’ve actually finished the whole back, but this is a photo from a few days ago:
We’ve finished the first week of rehearsals for the Chicago company of Jersey Boys and things are going really well. All the music has been taught, and choreography has begun. We finished taping out the set in two rooms, and finished spiking the main room. There are 8 gajillion spikes in this show. Spikes are little colored tape marks that show the actors where to put all the furniture. To give you an idea of how many there are, here’s a picture of our freshly set up rehearsal room