Sunday, July 30, 2006


I made some progress on Something Red today. I cast on this morning and started the raglan increases. I'm liking the feel of the knitpicks yarn. We shall see how it wears.

In other news, Mike and I saw the "Americans in Paris" art exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, today. The show featured the infamous "Madame X" painting by John Singer Sargent, along with numerous fascinating works by Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and many other notables. "Madame X" was displayed next to "Mrs. Henry White," also by Sargent, which made for an interesting contrast. When it was first released, "Madame X" was considered too daring, cutting into Sargent's portrait business. It's still provocative today. This show was a superb collection, though I wish it were more economical to see (student tickets are $21 on the weekends, though I believe Harvard students can see it for $5 during the weekdays). Plus afterwards we stopped by the Copley room, my favorite gallery of all the art museums I have ever visited.

New project

I decided I should actually post in progress photos of one of my projects. I keep knitting things for swaps, which I feel like I shouldn't post pics of before the recipiants get them. Otherwise, I have been knitting quick little projects. But I have finally decided to start another sweater for myself. It's Something Red from Knit and Tonic. I ordered the yarn from knitpicks, because they had put Mainline on sale for $1.97 a ball. I figured about $20 for the yarn was a steal. The color I chose was "Red Velvet Cake," since I couldn't resist the idea of having this cardi in red. So I swatched last night on my Denise 7s and 8s. Although I kinda like the 8 swatch better, the 7 is much closer to stitch gauge (the swatch on the right is the 7 one). Though my row gauge is off by about 1-2 rows per 4 inches. I'm going to have to watch out for that, but since this is a top-down raglan, I think I can deal.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Happy Birthday Gus! Yesterday we hung out with Gus and co. all day celebrating his birthday. We sat around at Walden, went to Unos, and then played Encore at Gus's place. This game involves trying to come up with as many songs as possible that contain a given word. You have to be able to name six consecutive words surrounding the target one. For some reason, I continued to try to think of more after the game ended. And I realized that one of the words we had, "home," was ludicrously easy. This is way after the fact, grant you, but at least I can think about me "dominating the pro tour unmercifully" with these gems.

Songs with home in them:
-Rocket Man by Elton John, "I'm not the man they think I am at home. Oh, no, I'm a Rocket Man." Sung in a Stewie from Family Guy voice, of course.
-The Way by Fastball, "You can see the shadows wandering off somewhere. They won't make it home but they really don't care."
-I'll Make a Man Out of You from Mulan, "So pack up, go home, you're through."
-Spiderwebs by No Doubt, "Sorry I'm not home right now. I'm walking into spiderwebs."
-Journey Into the Past from Anastasia, "Home, love, family. I will never be complete until I find you."
-What if God Was One of Us by Joan Osborne, "Trying to make his way home."
-Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire theme, line that goes "Yo home, to Bel-Aire!"
-Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls, "You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be, and I don't want to go home right now"
-Adam's Song by Blink-182, "I couldn't wait 'til I got home to pass the time in my room alone" (extra points because that has "room" in it, another one of our words)

Swap Knits

So I finshed the Skully and the winter set that I was working on for two swaps on craftster.

Skully Sweater
Pattern: from SNB
Yarn: Doubled Caron Simply Soft
Needles: US 11

Winter Hat, Mittens, and Scarf
Pattern: Hat is the Basic Cable from SNBN. Mittens were made up as I went along. Scarf was based on the Irish Hiking pattern.
Yarn: Paton's Classic Merino
Needles: US 10 for the hat, US 10.5 for the scarf, US 7 for the mittens

Click here for pics, unless you are the recipiants: Skully, Winter Stuff.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Catch Up

Sorry for the lack of posts. I was going to post earlier, but I ran into computer trouble. So let's catch up.

Crafting news:
As usual, I have been working on some things for swaps at Craftster. I did the Friend of Craftster swap, where I crocheted and stenciled a bunch of things (you can see them at the recipiant's blog, here and here). I'm currently working on a knit project (an Irish Hiking cabled set of mittens, scarf, and hat) and stuff for the X-Men swap I'm organizing. Otherwise, I haven't been doing to much crafting for myself.

Work news:
My job at the Fed is going well. The data set I've managed to wrangle has some promise. But we have a definite endogenity problem that needs dealing with.

Reading news:
I finished two books by Isabelle Allende, Zorro and Daughter of Fortune. Both were excellent, though I would say Daughter of Fortune was more totally realized. Allende has a lovely way of just naturally dropping her readers into an incredibly detailed world. She will drop hints of what is to come, but these seem entirely natural. This reminds me a bit of the early Tom Clancy novels, where you felt as if you were just watching real people's lives, which had a spontaneous, full quality. I also was fascinated by her exploration, in Daughter of Fortune, of a bi-racial relationship between a Caucasian and an Asian. It's not something you see as often as say, a Black and White relationship, and that was interesting in and of itself. But of course, I am also in such a mixed relationship, so it had a personal resonance. As for Zorro, I was quite taken with Allende's recasting of the hero as the son of a Native American. It added an unexpected quality to the character. I would give Zorro a 7 and Daughter of Fortune a 9.

Movie news:
I saw A Prairie Home Companion, X-Men 3, and Pirates of the Carribean 2. All three were good (though none was amazing). I would say that I enjoyed Pirates the most, but that was just because of it's incredible enthusiasm. It really wasn't plotted that well, but the lines were funny (not inspired, but definitely amusing), the acting was accomplished, and the direction was visually appealing. The long sight gags were the highlight. X-Men 3 has a similar feel, though everything is just of slightly poorer quality. In particular, I have no idea why some things like the Angel story-line were included. It added nothing to the rest of the film. A Prairie Home Companion was very well acted and directed, but it too didn't have a snappy plot. It just was. I am not a fan of NPR, mind you. I grew up with an indifferent affiliate in Rochester, and I have trouble hearing the chatter of it in the car. Something that makes me feel deaf is not appreciated. However the movie has its fun moments. I would give X-Men 3 a 5.5, Prairie Home Companion a 6, and Pirates a 7.