Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Amazing Lace: Challenge #3.

From our lovely hosts:

Challege #3: The Poetry Challenge

Poetry is a way of exploring the deeper essence of the human (and lace) selves, what it is that makes us human (or lace, as the case may be). Poetry can take many forms, from the classical dactylic hexameter to the haiku to free verse; it can rhyme or not rhyme; it can be written in the first, second, or third person. What all forms of poetry have in common is their ability to evoke a deep sentiment and emotion.

Your challenge: One poem, written by, for, or about your lace teammate posted to your blog (or photohosting account) by midnight EDT (UTC -4:00), July 2.

Ahem. With apologies to Emily:

A Challenge--Trellis! said Helen's Lace
Enticing me with silken thread
You must knit seven into five--
I knit a camisole instead

She of the muted Blues drew me to
The Chart--It belied complexity and grace
Bewitched, I began to knit
Intoxicated with a love for lace

Stitches shivered as I coaxed
Through the loop, the Strand
It slipped onto my waiting needle--

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pictures. For reals.

I've had it with the Blogger picture uploading nonsense. I'm going to post all my recent pix via Flickr, so unless there's a better way to do it, they're all going to appear as separate posts. C'est la vie.

A little background on where I've been lately: I was on a maid-of-honor tour of duty this past weekend, flying out to New Jersey to collect my boyfriend, who was celebrating his birthday with his family, then driving up to Rochester for the wedding on Saturday.

The wedding was lovely, the weather was perfect, but in terms of knitting, not so great. I took Trellis (it really does exist! not just on paper!), and the airplane knitting was fine, but truly, it is not a road trip project. The lace yarn threatened to slip off my aluminum needles with every bump, and yeah, there were a few bumps. Sadly, I had to put it away after a while and resign myself to listening to Bill's iPod (just kidding, babe! I heart Bruce!).

Sunday night, we got back to Jersey early enough to have dinner at Carmen's, where they have delicious pizza (I'm not saying it's better than Chicago style, just different, and good). Afterward, Bill took me to the Jersey Shore. I said, well, I've already been to the beach. Clearly, though, I hadn't been to the Shore. We went to Point Pleasant to visit the baby boardwalk, and scored all kinds of junk playing Skeeball and video poker.

Here's a picture of the bi-species stuffed toy we brought back and decided to call Mouskey:

Is he a mouse? Is he a monkey? We debated this for minutes on end, yet my roommate took one look at him and pronounced him a monkey. Why? Because the tag says so, duh.

Now I'm back in Austin and trying to switch from vacation mode to work mode. Such a drag! Is it the weekend yet? :-)

It lights up!

It lights up!
Originally uploaded by Yo La Tejo.
My pen from the Point Pleasant boardwalk. Ain't it cool?

Bridesmaid's tote.

Originally uploaded by Yo La Tejo.
I didn't want to run all over town looking for a purse for the wedding, so I stitched this little tote from some remnants I bought at Silk Road, the most amazing little fabric shop in Austin.

Trellis Stole

Trellis Stole
Originally uploaded by Yo La Tejo.
Detail of Trellis. I didn't pin it out, just stretched it with my fingers.

Trellis Stole.

Trellis Stole
Originally uploaded by Yo La Tejo.
As you can see, miniscule progress has been made. Despite a 12-hour round trip road trip. And the pattern? Not so memorizable. But I am loving it...the colorway is Denim, so it's soft and muted and has variations in the color. It's lovely.

Silk Camisole

Silk Camisole
Originally uploaded by Yo La Tejo.
Doesn't look like much yet, but this is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It's a gift...for me! I scored some Jaeger Trinity from Elizabeth, who was destashing. I love it so far--it's a silk cotton blend, and light and sorta papery. Perfect for summer!

Midwest Moonlight Scarf

Midwest Moonlight Scarf
Originally uploaded by Yo La Tejo.
Ah, the pleasure of a scarf. This is the Caron Simply Soft that I frogged from my disastrous attempt at the Glimmer shrug from Knitty. The pattern is from Scarf Style, and it's so adorable! Easy to memorize, and the more I knit, the more you can see how the garter stitch looks like tumbling blocks.

Baby Denim Pants

Baby Denim Pants
Originally uploaded by Yo La Tejo.
More progress has been made since this picture...the legs have been joined! The gauge is all loosey goosey on this one, but I'm guessing it's because the Rowan Denim yarn is meant to shrink the wash. I hope.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh, the irony.

My original title for this post was going to be, "Real pictures, of real stuff." Because I haven't posted anything but my doodles lately, and I've cast on for new projects that I wanted to show, and I took a trip that I wanted to talk about...and I wanted to illustrate it all, gloriously, with real pictures!

This is the only thing I could get uploaded:

These are the goods B. and I scored this past weekend at the Point Pleasant boardwalk on the Jersey Shore, playing Skeeball and video poker. We also brought back a little fellow we call Mouskey, because he's a strange inter-species cross between a monkey and a mouse (stuffed, of course).

I'm so bummed about the pictures. Next time!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Amazing Lace: Challenge #2.

Well, folks, it's time for another installation of....THE AMAZING LACE. (Imagine this being said in a booming voice that echoes off the walls of your house or cubicle.)

This week, the challenge that has been issued is X-treme knitting:

You've joined this knitalong because you want to share with others your feats of endurance, agility, and occasional recklessness, so give your public one exhilarating photograph that shows yourself engaged in death-, logic-, or sanity-defying lace knitting.

Rock climbing with my Trellis Stole hanging from my utility belt, perhaps? Knitting AND zooming down the steep hills of Central Park on my Rollerblades, you think?

Heh. Not a chance. What I am about to show you is more death-, logic-, or sanity-defying than either of those challenges. Kids, don't try this at home.

Here is a mere sampling of the gauntlet I run every day as I procrastinate on all my other daily needs in order to knit. Clockwise, from top left:

The bills. They come faster than I can deal with them! Argh! It's truly a game of cunning to see what the last minute really is before they shut off your electricity.

The emails. They demand to be answered! Yikes! This is a real test of endurance. People need information, deadlines slip by, and yet I keep knitting on. Nothing will deter me from the finish line!

The dishes. Piled in the sink! A health hazard if I ever saw one. This one is easily navigated by simply averting the eyes.

The academic advisor. Uh-oh, this is a tricky one. A seemingly innocuous obstacle, he is potentially the greatest threat in this whole race. If avoided, he can grow cranky and unreasonable. You don't want this because he holds the key to your whole career, so you treat him gingerly and turn in enough work to appease him for the moment while still sneaking in a few rows on the knitting.

Thanks for tuning in for the latest episode in the Amazing Lace. Be sure to check the Amazing Lace website to see (and vote for) the finalists in challenge #1! Good luck to them!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Amazing Lace: Challenge #1.

This is the summer of lace, people, and Team Trellis has been training hard.

For those of you non-knitting, non-blogging types out there (hard to believe, I know, but there are a few), The Amazing Lace is a knitalong based loosely on the reality-TV show The Amazing Race. The ultimate goal is to knit a lace object by the end of the summer, and challenges will be issued along the way to contestants who must complete them on their blogs to win the favor of fellow knitalongers.

This is challenge number one. Meet the Team:

Knitter: Me.
Pattern: Trellis Scarf from Interweave Knits Spring 2006, modified to stole width.
Yarn: Helen's Laces in Denim.

Strengths: Has knit other lace pieces successfully before. Rarely drops stitches.

Weaknesses: Mild case of knitting ADD. Likes to watch 24 on DVD, severely limiting ability to follow lace charts. Probably the slowest knitter in the race.

Strengths: Easily memorizable pattern.

Weaknesses: Requires a K7 together. WTF!!! This may seriously handicap the team.

While there are clearly some disadvantages here, we hope that our strengths are enough to keep us competitive. The pattern isn't too complicated, ensuring just enough challenge to keep the knitter's ADD at bay, but not so complex that I'll throw the yarn and needles across the room. Which I'm sure my roommate is grateful for.

This will be a race of strength, speed, and wits. Accordingly, we have been training in each of these areas:

Strength, in order to knit 7 stitches together successfully.

Speed and endurance, in order to keep up with the rest of the pack. (Yes, that is Helen's Lace following behind me, making sure I don't slack off.)

And wits. Focus and memory will be crucial in following the lace chart.

So yeah. My roommate trains for triathlons, and I knit lace. Who says I can't be competitive, too?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

What's in a Name?

On my visit home, I made sure to stop by Marshall Field's. Since I won't be back at all this summer, I wanted to make one last visit before the name changes over to Macy's in September.

Those of you from Chicago (or the Chicagoland area, as the weathermen and the car dealers like to say) already know about this travesty. For those of you who don't, let me just tell you Marshall Field's department store is an institution in Chicago, and Macy's has bought it. Field's has been through several mergers in the past decade or so, but the name has remained the same.

Now Macy's is renaming the store. What's the big deal, you might ask? Simply put, the name is synonymous with Chicago. It's a part of the city's history, as much as any other landmark or institution.

How nuts are we about Field's? From Wikipedia:

The store's legendary iconography parallels the company's close relationship to Midwestern identity. The green shopping bags adorned with the company's signature script and the famous clock were the source of controversy following the chain's purchase by the (then) Dayton-Hudson Corporation in 1990 - new bags in (cheaper) brown paper received a storm of protest from the store's notoriously loyal following, leading the parent company to reinstate the green bags in short order.

The thing about Field's is that the historic and the contemporary co-exist beautifully in this store.

I don't care. It'll always be Field's to me.