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Friday, December 29, 2006

La Dolce Vita

I'm currently in Italy with my husband, visiting his family. A few days ago we went to his town's version of BestBuy and got his family a wireless router to convert his mother's slow dial-up connection to DSL, allowing me a quick post.

We've been here for about a week, just hanging out in his hometown which is about 40 minutes from Milan and stuffing ourselves like crazy on Christmas day and St. Stefano's Day. Among the delicacies I like best is Pand'oro dipped in marscapone.

The other day, we ventured briefly into Milan where I went to a huge yarn shop with shelves from floor to very high ceiling full of yarn - mostly stuff you can get in the US like Filatura di Crosa, Grignasco, and Mondial. The prices, however, are slightly cheaper - though with the beastly exchange rate from euro to dollar, not as cheap as it could be. I managed to limit myself to three balls of Filatura di Crosa's Baby Kid Extra in a powder blue and a magazine or two. If I had infinite luggage space, I would have snapped up some Filatura di Crosa Principessa too - a superwash, fingering weight merino wool that feels delicious and that the shop owners claim doesn't pill at all due to its tighter spin.

I also have some news on the designing front that I've been witholding due to my natural pessimism, but I think it's fairly safe now to reveal that I'll be in the spring issue of Knitter's as well as the February issue of Magknits. I'm really excited about starting this phase of my knitting life -- especially with the disappointments with my professional life this year. The Knitter's thing is done and sent off to their offices and the Magknits thing is almost done as well. The sample is all knit up, but the instructions remain to be sorted out.

Anyway, that's it from here. Pictures will come when I return home. Hope everyone is having a good holiday season!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Knitting's version of the waiting bus syndrome

Are you familiar with the waiting bus syndrome - where you wait and wait and wait for a bus that never comes because you're afraid that the minute you leave, the bus will come? And the more you wait, the more you're reluctant to leave, having sunk in a certain amount of time already waiting?

I think I encountered knitting's version of the waiting bus syndrome this weekend. I had finished 3/4 of the back of a tank when I realized that an element I had incorporated into it was too narrow to really be visible. But since I was already 3/4 of the way through, I pushed the doubts out of mind and soldiered on. The more I worked on it, though, the more reluctant I was to scrap it and start over. I reached 1/4 of the way up the front before I finally succumbed to the niggling doubts and ripped everything out. Back to square one. Ugh.

But I think ultimately it was the right thing to do.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas in the city

Ahhhh...Nothing beats Christmas in the city (NYC). On Thursday, my husband and I played hooky and went down to the city to gawk at the Christmas decorations, lights, and holiday markets. We wanted to take advantage of the unseasonably warm temperatures (70 degrees!) and walk around before the cold temps and freezing winds set in. Here's a picture of the festivities at Rockefeller Center with the famous tree, waving golden pendants, a toy soldier statue, and the ice skating rink below.

We also went to the holiday market at Union Square and Grand Central station. Here's a picture of the light display on the walls of the station. Grand Central is truly one of the most beautiful train stations I've been too. It's so majestic, evocative of a by-gone age.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any holiday shopping done despite the tempting wares at the markets. It's just so hard to shop for people. I'm always so tempted to just whip out the gift cards, but that just takes all the romance out of it I suppose.

We also went to the Saks department store window displays. The animated portion of the windows were cordoned off to allow more orderly enjoyment of the display, but I was pretty disappointed with them. They were more creepy than cute. I've heard that the Macy's display is better so I'll have to make another trip to the city.