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
It’s rainy and 65 here in beautiful Brooklyn. I’m desperately trying to get my Sarah tank top done before there are no more 80 degree days left.
As promised, I’m going to sum up Patty’s summer of knitting. My summer of psycho crazed knitting began in June when I had my first summer off in years. I was able to spend more time with David then I have in . . . forever, and hang out on my deck and knit. Some might see this as unemployment, but my pal Nell simply called it “P & D’s summer V” and it ROCKED!
Here’s where you could find me most days:
The first early summer sweater I finished was a bit of a trauma. It was the Moda Dea Curious Diamond top in Distrato Tutti Purple yarn. I like to call it the muppet sweater. This pattern is a LIE!! See the nice model, see the nice model wearing a form fitting sweater, see the nice model wearing a sweater that has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PATTERN. So, I knit the entire front (yes, I did a gauge sample, I’m kind of a nut about doing that) and it looked like a shapeless potato sack. I bravely, naively, stupidly knit on thinking “I’m sure the pattern writer knows best, it will all come together.” I knit the back. I frogged it and started again. I rewrote the pattern entirely, removed one whole pattern repeat and added shaping to the side. This is the result:
The yarn is this crazy furry stuff that makes me feel a bit like Elmo when I wear it, but that’s life.
With a closet FULL of projects, I did the only thing a girl can do as the summer heats up. .. buy summer weight yarn! As the temperature rose (and rose and rose!) it was time to put away all thoughts of wool and alpaca and anything that came from a furry beast, and turn our attention to all things cottony blendy.
Next up was the adorable xback ribbon tank. It knit up in a couple of days. My problem is the ribbon yarn I used was really stretchy, thus making it a little (ehem) whorey to wear braless. I ended up knitting a little shelf bra inside. My mother would be so proud. I had a skein and 1/2 left over, so I made a little shrug
With a big ole bag of cotton & viscose blends, cotton & linen blends, and cotton & strange chemically sounding word blends it was time to delve yet deeper into the wonderful world of summer tops. First stop the Honeymoon Cami. What the hell would I do without knitty.com???? I loved knitting this top, and although I though at first the designer was high when she called a ssk a right slanting decrease. I decided to go on blind faith (although still stinging from the whole muppet sweater affair). It turned out FAB! I think she just meant that ssk was the decrease on the right side of the sweater. Whatever, all is forgiven, cause check it out:
Next came another tank, Evening Diamonds, and another r-0-n-g, wrong pattern. This time I only got halfway through the front before I realized the math was all wrong. By the time you get to dividing for front and back you don’t have the right amount of stitches. I counted backwards from the divide to figure out the right number of stitches to cast on. It was also my first foray into crochet (for the edge).
Since the little Evening tank took me a good long while. I decided to move on to instant gratification time. Yes, I’m talking Loop d Loop ballet t-shirt. It knit up (hand to god) in 3 1/2 hours. I bought a bag of ten Filatura Lanarota Summer Soft at Smiley’s and it was perfect for this top.
I got a huge cone (my first) of greyish lavender mohair from David’s mom. People are constantly dropping yarn and unfinished sweaters off at her house. I told her she could go into business finishing other people’s projects. I usually walk away with a little sumin’ sumin’ for the old stash every time I visit. The mohair seemed perfect for the Fluffy lace camisole and pull off cowl from Weekend Knitting. I’d been meaning to make it for a while, but hadn’t learned how to crochet, for the edging. Now that I conquered crochet for the evening tank. I dove it. It’s just a big tube, no shaping, so it got a little headachey after awhile, and it didn’t look as good on me as the model, but I still like it.
More later about my trip to the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival, and of course, Knit Out NY!
After years of saying “why would anyone want to read what I have to write” (all the while reading every knitting blog I could find), I finally gave in. My first post is kinda long – I’m just catching up.
So, here I am . . . a little about me. I’m a Stage Manager who lives in FABULOUS Park Slope Brooklyn. Years ago when I was working at Lincoln Center I used to sit in rehearsal and watch Ira Weitzman (the Musical Theatre Associate Producer) knit hats. I was fascinated by the strange and wonderful circular needles. I had learned to knit when I was a kid, but I never got past the ole’ garter stitch scarf stage. My next step towards knitting obsession was when I was working as a Stage Manager on the Broadway show 42nd Street.
Many of the people from the hair and wardrobe department would knit on the deck (backstage) during the show. I finally asked Jack, one of the hair guys to teach me to knit. . . four years, many garments, and many hundreds of dollars of yarn later, here I am.
For my first post, I’ll give you all an abbreviated rewind of my year. This past season has been full of knitting triumphs and disasters.
Last summer I was in Seattle with the pre-Broadway (which in this case turned into STILL not on Broadway) run of Princesses.
There was far too much moving scenery, and thus too many opportunities for chorus girls to be run over, for me to get much knitting done backstage. Not like Dessa Rose. . .that tech (the time in the rehearsal process when you move to the theatre and add all the sets, lights, costumes etc.) was so long I got three pairs of socks done, and started a poncho!
Next up in my season was Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. That show had a character who was supposed to be knitting a scarf on a train. The actress didn’t know how to knit. I taught her the knit stitch, and another yarn obsessed freak was born! By the time the show was over she finished her first scarf and hat. I was so proud.
As for my nine weeks in San Francisco, I had a Stitch and Bitch obsessed winter.
Here’s my version of the marsupial tote. I made it a messenger bag, and added a little stripe.
Here’s my Under the Hoodie
and last but not least, my Manly Sweater (on my manly man, David)
Before my summer vacation began, I had to survive a full Season at Encores! Encores is kind of hard to explain. For fans of Big Brother All Stars, think of the fast forward week (where they had to do a whole week of shows in one day). That’s what Encores is to musical theatre. It’s doing a big ole’ giant musical in two weeks. It’s Broadway on crack. With that schedule, it’s a miracle I got any projects off the needles. I managed to finish my lace scarf for my sister. I made it from a ball of REALLY thin mohair that was given to me as a thank you gift from the actress I taught to knit in White Christmas. When my fellow Stage Manager (and expert knitter) Alissa saw it, she said “why would you want to knit with thread!” After finishing it I wondered the same thing, but it turned out kinda swell.
My favorite project this spring was the Bolero sweater from Weekend Knitting, by the fabulous Melanie Falick. It was pretty tricky, and it was the first thing I ever knit that looked EXACTLY like the picture in the book. When does that ever happen? I knit it with Cervinia Londra in Berry Heather. I bought it on sale at the crazy big Smiley’s Yarn Sale (a huge yarn shop in Queens) last spring. Okay, I know it’s kind of queer, but I had to pose just like the book.