Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Knit PH at Prospect Perk Café, Jan 12, '10

I gave my black round table to Perk last week. It makes more sense in a café since it is in fact a café table. Murat and Ori were glad to take it for the front window.

I hadn't seen Marci in ages. I gave her a warm welcome hug. She is now a converted knitter thanks to the Lisa G. But of course she's still the queen of crochet. She broke our her "Fiona Mohair" scarf. Diana showed us her family calendar with a portrait her grandson proudly wearing the red cardigan she made. Meanwhile she's already started a new one for her other grandson — her own handsome design of course.

Meg made that clever cat hat from the "Stich n' Bitch" collection and moved on to her next project, a new scarf for her father. Dad lost the last one she made, but asked her to make one in more manly colors. Mm hmm. We all agreed that these cherished goods should only be made for someone who will appreciate them, even if they become lost.

Allison is new to the group, so is Suzanne, and Michele. Allison brought a pack of hand-spun in variegated colors. Michele is making her first baby hat and her first scarf.

"They drink a lot of tea" Sarah said. That tea cozy has picked up in momentum, size, and color. It's almost ready to send off to mom and dad.

Silke and Emma handed me their finished granny squares. Suzanne asked what they were for — "Afghans for Afghans charity" I said. "How about Afghans for Suzanne?" she asked jokingly. After 12 years as a producer at Channel 13, Suzanne has joined the league of lay-offs.  There may be a lot of knitting ahead of us in this recession.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Moving Experience

Whether from Brooklyn Heights to Prospect Heights or just across the room, Ikea furniture does not travel well. After re-assembling Stephanie's birch cabinet, I loaded it with a few items — CDs, art supplies, a few books. And as I carefully pushed it to its new location, it let out a load squeak, made a moaning sound, then listed at a 10° angle blowing the back out.

I tried to squeeze it back together but the drawers broke away from the tracks as a metal hinge snapped, smacking me in the face with a door. "Death by Ikea" would be an embarrassing way to go. Eventually I rested the wreck against a tower of boxes. The floor was covered with sawdust, particle board, screws, bolts, hinges, veneer strips, CDs. Ikea will not be making furniture for Swedish space travel any time soon. It would implode upon re-entry into earth's atmosphere. On a positive note, we now have more space — and few less CDs to manage.

Otherwise Thursday's move went smoothly — excellent weather, available parking, good timing, planned packing, and a few friends with cars and strong backs. Lisa and Adrianne drove in two shifts. Pat, Ellen, Marlene, Reily, Dave, Deike Steph, and I loaded and unloaded. And of course my best friend Eric drove all the fragile kitchens items and books over the week prior. It's now Saturday, Stephanie and I are still arranging and unpacking. Eventually we'll get to the island of boxes in the living room.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Year of the Tiger

The day of New Years Eve was quiet, a fresh blanket of snow covered New York, but it wouldn't stay for long as rain was predicted for the evening. I had some cleaning to do before I'd meet up with Stephanie at Dave and Katie's party. I also had some sweaters to repair.

Today I got Stephanie's Maneki Neko working again. It took a little soapy water, some WD-40, and a new battery. Now Japanese good luck cat welcomes the Chinese Year of the Tiger from my Brooklyn living room window. He also scares off errant squirrels.

After my friend Chris' husband, Irwin, passed away she asked me to repair two of his most colorful sweaters so she could pass them on to her son, Lucas (and eventually his son Itai). Two woolen time pieces described a smaller man with a sense of humor who enjoyed fine cigars and cigarettes. One sweater, I re-wove a shoulder, put on a new collar and darned moth holes. The other "Cosby" sweater just needed the shoulder re-attached. A hand-me-down is now an heirloom. They almost look new.

Then there's my gray raglan that wore thin and became unraveled. There's nothing special about it, but it was my favorite every-guy sweater — the Jimmy Stewart of pullovers. I wore it till it wore out, cigarette holes and all. I frogged the body up until the arms, re-conditioned and rejoined the old yarn. Then I re-knit the body downward in a 1X1 rib for a better fit.

TIP: Reconditioning Old Woolen Yarn
Wind yarn loosely into skeins, wash in light detergent, and then soak it overnight in this solution: dissolve 2 tbs "unflavored" gelatin and 1 tbs salt into a half-cup of warm water, then add to gallon of cold water. Squeeze excess and hang to dry. This returns the spring back into old wool fibers.

As I get older I greatly appreciate an intimate New Year's eve and good conversation with friends. I don't know why anyone would stand in a crowded street on a cold night waiting for a PortoSan to become available. Dave turned on the TV for the big countdown. Someone commented that it looked like the "Million Douchebag March" — a sea of plastic Nivea™ top hats screamed and basked in a televised moment. We all exchanged hugs, kisses, and cheers. I texted good tidings to a friend. Afterwards Stephanie and I wandered over to Freddy's for the first nightcap of the new year. We were treated to a fiery poi ball dance courtesy of one the bartenders, Bleu — a dramatic beginning of the new year.

Chinese New Year falls on February 14th this year. What will the Tiger year bring?  It's said to be a year of grand changes, both worldly and personal. In this Tiger year we are all advised to asses our fortune and luck — fortune being what you gain or lose, luck being inherent to your birth. One who is born in the Year of the Tiger is usually straightforward and outgoing by nature, but are also full of suspicion and at times impulsive. Tigers take pride in being unique and demonstrate their originality best at home. They tend to spend money and also like sharing in their good fortune.

Stephanie is moving in with me this month, we've both given this a lot of thought. Are we ready? I've made room and closet space, put things into storage, hung shelves, re-painted, re-organized — she's packed everything up and changed her address. Moving day is Thursday.