rhinebeck pregame

October 14, 2011

andrea, one of the world’s best yarn reps,
and i, your humble blogger,
have arrived at our motel
in newburgh, new york.
(i’m in love with this incandescent motel lighting!)

there’s a little time left
before we’ll start foraging for food.
so i thought i’d just do a little rhinebeck pre-game.

1. i’ve made significant progress on my rhinebeck vest,but i realize, now, finishing it by tomorrow is impossible. i’m not even sure i spun enough yarn for it. in any case, it’s still my rhinebeck vest, and i’ll be working on it as much as possible this weekend. anyone who wants to knit a courtesy row or two for me tomorrow need only ask. (i don’t have a cable needle, though)

2. like last year, i’m a square for rhinebeck bingo,
and as part of the fun, i thought i’d give away my dustland hat.the first person who a) has me on their bingo card b) stops me to check me off of their bingo card and c) asks for the hat will get it.

3. i have a couple photo projects i’d like to undertake. the first will be “the beards of rhinebeck” since it was so much fun in maryland. the second is “nips with steven”. that project will be photos of my friends and readers who take a nip from my whisky bottle that i plan to smuggle in. are you brave enough to take nip at rhinebeck?

4. is anyone else going to stand in line to get a signed copy of the yarn harlot’s new book? is it worth the hassle of dealing with a frenzy of crazy-ass knitters? i’m on the fence.

5. i plan to go to saturday’s ravelry meetup. is everyone else going? is it too dorky? and if so, do we care?

i think that’s all. coming to rhinebeck is a kind of pilgrimage for me, and, even though this is going to put me way behind for my next week of school work and grading and i might find myself crying by wednesday, it’s totally worth it.

right?

my first week as a phd student was rough.
i could tell you all the little whiney stories
that literally drove me to drink.

i could tell you about being behind in my reading,
or how my students were . . . less than talkative in class.
or how i (wrongfully!) received a parking ticket that i have to now appeal.
or how my online rent payment didn’t go through making it 8 days late.
or how mo snuck out of bed in the middle of the night to drop a deuce,
and i stepped in the puddle of pee that accompanied it.

but i won’t.
i’m classier than that,
and no one likes a whiner.

besides, i spent a lovely saturday afternoon with the ladies of the loft
that erased any negative feelings from the previous week.

this future spinner is the newest loft lady,
learning the ways of wool from her mimi, beth smith.
(who is far too young and hip to be a grandma!)

i’m not really a baby person,
but this one seemed pretty cool.
unlike some asshole babies i’ve met,
i could sorta see the appeal of this one.

but since she’s not for sale
i settled for taking my spinning wheel home with me.
this is mo’s little sister; i can somehow tell she’s a girl,
but i haven’t named her yet.
(suggestions?)
like any doting father
i think she’s the best wheel in the world.
the wood is absolutely beautiful.
she even has a knot-wood beauty mark.
she’s currently hanging out in my bedroom
until a proper place of honor can be made in the living room.

what’s that on the bobbin you ask?
why that’s what i’ll be wearing to rhinebeck of course!

orienteering

August 22, 2011

let’s get cracking.

1. i made a knitter. my student on saturday was amazing, a natural, a joy to teach. she will very soon spread her knitter wings and take off. i shall always remember alejandra, the scrub nurse from colombia and my first real knitting student. (actually, i’ll probably forget which is why i’m writing it down here).

2. today was my first day of t.a. orientation. for some bizarre reason i was really nervous about it and only slept for about three hours last night. but of course when i got there, it felt totally natural and, even though i feel really nervous about teaching, i am clearly more competent/less nervous than a lot of people in that room today. and a lot prettier which is of course a bigger comfort.

3. i saw a girl i went to highschool with at t.a. orientation. she either didn’t recognize me, or purposely ignored me. i’m not sure which is worse.

4. perhaps even more random, i saw the guy i bought my new craigslist couch from. he too either ignored or didn’t recognize me. either way, freaky right?

5. i was the only person in the big lecture hall knitting. this didn’t surprise me, but i was a little disappointed.

6. this week, i have been eating, on average, a half an onion and a clove of garlic per day. i am single, and mo doesn’t seem to mind so i’m going with it.

7. i’m getting really close to getting my wheel. i’m waiting on an email about it.

8. speaking of emails, i sent a bunch out to the knitters of the world, but only one responded. i fear that this is because i am a knitting nobody and do not merit a response. worse still, they could absolutely know who i am and have decided not to respond. it couldn’t possibly that they’re just busy people like me and have yet to respond. never. clearly, they either don’t know, or hate me.

9. i have an insane amount of laundry to do. rather than haul my ass to the laundromat, i just keep opening new suitcases to find clean clothes. or else i “sniff test” clothes i’ve already worn, and wear them again. (more evidence of my transition to manhood) this plan has worked for me for three weeks, but i see the end is near. today i had to go commando to my orientation. i made to sure to wear a belt, but kept obsessively checking my fly after the sexual harassment segment of the day.

11. since this is technically a knitting blog, i better show you a picture of some knittingi have embraced the fact that i am a shawl knitter. if other people can be sock knitters, i can be a shawl knitter. give me a triangle and i’m happy. of course, i’m using smaller yarn and needles meaning i’m going to have to do some maths to make the lace section work, but i’m sure that won’t pose any problems at all later on.

12. my rereading of the yarnharlot’s blog continues to be an inspiration. i’m pretty sure that’s why i’m doing a list post right now.

13. i recieved the awesomest of text messages today from a dear friend of mine:

“i’m knitting! also, loved the ‘sleep with as many people as possible’ note.”

what can i say, i’m part knitter, part scholar, part slut apparently (sorry mom). miss you jenny!

14. i thought rhinebeck was out of reach this year, but i may just have found a way to get there. this of course means i must find a pattern i like, and knit a new rhinebeck sweater.

15. fuck.

16. i’m toying with the idea of getting my knitting mastery. is this a stupid idea? has anyone done it? help a boy out.

17. now that mo and i are reunited, my mother wants to alpacanap steven jr. i think this is some kind of manifestation of her desire for a grandchild. watch out sally.

18. extra large eggs are stupid.

19. mo has let me know in his not so subtle way it is time to be let out or else i’ll have a date later with the paper towel. later, bitches.

where’s steven?!

October 20, 2010

why he’s in clara parkes’ rhinebeck video!


see if you can spot me.

you can also see the xeriscape i knit on cirilia rose @2:16.
i gave it to mary-heather at the ravelry party,
but how it got from mary-heather to her is a mystery.
anyone got the scoop?

proof

October 20, 2010

here’s proof that i saw uma thurman at rhinebeck.
note the clothes are the same as in my photo.
(as if you doubted me)

go check out maggie’s farm.
i stole the pic from her.

let’s just get this out of the way: i finished my sweater.
and i hope to never be put in that position ever again.

i knitted almost the entire drive from pittsburgh,
and had to pop pills to dull the pain in my hands and continue.
i could never have done it without the support of my travel buddies
kelli, lisa, and especially andrea who had the needles i needed.

around 11 p.m. friday night
with pits to kitch
and ends to weave in,
i bound off

too tightly and my sweater wouldn’t fit over my head.

i kinda wanted to die.

rather than commit suicide,
i decided to work on finishing.

when midnight rolled around,
my underarms were well closed
and most of my ends were woven in.
but i knew i couldn’t go on.
i’d have to finish in the morning.

as soon as the alarm went off,
before i even remembered my own name,
i found my chibi, and finished weaving in my ends.

i then ripped out my collar
borrowed a bigger needle size
and knitted like the wind.

in the parking lot of the dutchess county fairgrounds,
i bound off for a second time,
and pulled that bitch over my extra-large cabeza!


and walked through the gate properly attired.
(which was good since i didn’t really bring a coat and it was pretty cold)

the rest is a blurred happy memory.
there was yarn. there were sheep.
there were several nips of whiskey from my flask.

here are the highlights:
i met the pocket wheel

and now want one.

i ran into adrienne martini, a new old friend from the blogosphere,

and clara parkes who knew who i was! really, she knew the hotpants from maryland and i told her i was the one who knitted them.

i also ran into beth hansen who i met back at the silk retreat. she was selling the lovely miniSpinner.

i now want one of them as well.

there was this crazy wheel that i do not want.

i saw bobsolda and casey at the ravelry meetup.

it was kinda more creepy than cute.

(also i totally have a crush on jess aka frecklegirl aka mama rav’s brother.
what can i say? i love me a ginger beard.)

the lovely melynda of french press knits spotted me and my sweater, and we finally got to meet in person. i got to feel the baby bump and meet her husband too. she was so beautiful in every sense of the word. i loved how michigany she was, her accent and demeanor. she made me miss home.

of course i was so caught up in the moment that it didn’t occur to me document the moment. *sigh* curse this blond hair!

between nips of whiskey,
andrea and i hung out at the beer garden.

there was this guy who was apparently very into carbs.

i spun on my future wheel.

it was brand new and heavily discounted.
they wanted cash, didn’t take plastic.
shady? i thought so.
and kept walking.

i headed back to the motel to rest and get ready.

on my way out i saw uma fucking thurman get out of her car
with an unidentified homely gay man.

she was smoking what appeared to be a parliament light.

the lady directing traffic asked her, “aren’t you in the movies?”
uma replied, “i used to be!” and kept walking.
then i snapped this shot.

i was too chicken to be a real papparazzo.
but andrea can back me up that this was in fact her.

after dinner, it was time to party ravelry style.
i slipped on the hotpants,
grabbed my tuxedo jacket,
and off we went.

the highlight for me was finally meeting ms. helloyarn herself.

i’ve been stalking. . . er. . . befriending her online ever since i started knitting.
i spotted her earlier at the ravelry meetup,
but was too apple juice* to say hello.
plus i didn’t have my gift for her.

i decided the rav party would be the perfect time.

i stood right next to her at the bonfire but didn’t see her.
she couldn’t see me either but couldn’t miss the hotpants.
those shorts saved my ass!

she gave me jam.
i gave her booze.
it was perfect.

i had an emotion.
i posed with the ladies of the sanguine gryphon

who are both beautiful and fabulous.
(but i really love the rabbit-eared photo bomber in this shot!)

i spotted melynda again, and made up for my earlier absent-mindedness.

and yes, blondes do have more fun.

when i met the smoking sheep puppet

i knew it was time to get the hell outta there.

but before i left,
i swallowed the last of my apple juice,
and asked mary-heather for a photo.

you know how, people online can be totally different in person?
like they seem super sweet and nice online,
but are really a complete bitch?

this is so not the case with mary-heather.
she comes off not only as sweet and nice,
but beautiful and intelligent.

she is all good vibes folks.

here we are

blurry and fabulous!

after freezing to death waiting for the bus,
i headed back to the motel and slept like a christian.

the next day was a bit lower key.
i hung with yvonne and kim,
bought some loot
and just tried to take it all in before i had to head home.

i had a lovely time.

but the absolute best part was the handful of people who came up to me all geeked out telling me they love my blog. that seriously made everything worth it. to those readers i say thank you so so much for making rhinebeck for me!

if you spotted me i’d love to hear it.
and if you took my photo, i’d love to see that too!

oh yeah,
hear’s my loot.

socks from lisa.
sweater from me.
jam from hello yarn.
two skeins of sunna by spirit trail fiberworks.
two skeins of bugga by the sanguine gryphon.

see you next year!

*apple juice is our term for losing all sense of intelligence in the presence of a celebrity of some sort.

deadline

October 14, 2010

no time to talk.
just a quick update.
there is much more sweater to be done.
but it might just be ready in time for saturday’s debut.

i am thoroughly exhausted from all this intense knitting.
and the colorwork is really taking it out of me.

i’ve left my house where my comfy bed lives
and am knitting at a friend’s apartment.

i have eight hours before i leave for rhinebeck.

i haven’t packed.

i won’t make it tonight.

but as ga ga as my witness,
i will wear this sweater through rhinebeck’s gates!

dear reader

October 12, 2010

i love you.
i adore and respect you.
you complete me.

so of course i turned to you in my time of crisis.
almost every one of you told me to steek the sweater
since it was clearly the fastest solution to meeting the deadline.
it was sound advice.
expert even.

i listened to every word.

and promptly ignored it since it was clearly the wrong advice.

i am a perfectionist knitter and a spiritual one.
i didn’t go into this project with the intention to steek
so i just couldn’t do it.

it would be wrong.

(i am especially ashamed of you jen,
for suggesting i cut corners.
you of all people!)

so i ripped (and my friend anna documented)

it was painful.

and shocking.

but i’m happy with my choice.

when i ripped,
i told myself that,
if i didn’t finish for rhinebeck,
i’d still be happy finishing the sweater properly.

this was clearly a delusional lie since i will only be happy if i get to wear my intended rhinebeck sweater to my first rhinebeck.
here’s about three and half days of knitting:

that’s about fourteen inches of sweater.
only a couple more and i join the sleeves,
and start the yoke.

what do you think,
can i still make it?

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