Well, February has been a crazy month, so I haven’t gotten a chance to post about it! I’ll tell you up front, I didn’t finish my “official” February socks, and I haven’t even started on my afghan squares for this month, but I’m not that worried about it. Spring break is just a few short days away, and after that a key aspect of my schedule will be changing, so the rest of the semester should be a lot less stressful!
To start with the big news, I took a trip to New York with my friend Amy! She goes up there every year for her birthday, to visit her old friends and catch up. I was really surprised that she invited me–I love her to death, but we haven’t known each other very long, and it can be risky taking a trip with someone you don’t know as well! (I should know, I’ve had some bad vacations which I thought were going to be awesome!) But fortunately, we both had a great time!
Note: Some of these pictures are stolen from Amy and Tina, since I have a bad habit of photographing scenery, and not people! Don’t worry though, give credit where credit is due!
So, to start off, after enjoying my first every Knit Night at Borders, I stayed over at Amy’s house so that we could leave bright and early the next morning. I don’t sleep very well in new places, so I was up late reading Spin Off Magazine, which had some very interesting articles (particularly about Angora Rabbits!) and a lot of terminology that I didn’t understand at all! But it was interesting nonetheless. After finally getting to sleep, I was awoken at 5AM by my poor roommate, Kayleigh, who had apparently forgotten I was leaving, and thought I might be dead in a ditch somewhere! At least she cares, right? So, I didn’t get back to sleep, because Amy’s cats decided that since I was already awake, I might as well get up. Thus, I got a really early start to the trip!
me, Amy, Amanda, Meghan, and Corey (not pictured is Tina); swiped from Amy's blog
So, Amy and I had breakfast and took off, making a pit stop for gas, and to send off my package for the Have a Cuppa Swap. The drive was only about five hours, which was a pleasant surprise. I’ve only ever driven straight to NYC, so I am used to about a nine hour drive, give or take. Anyway, we arrived mid-afternoon at Meghan’s house, where we relaxed while she cooked us a delicious dinner, and we were quickly joined by Corey, Amanda, and Tina! We all stayed up late that night, talking about literally everything (you know what I mean, Amy!) and just had a grand ol’ time. I’m usually pretty shy about meeting new people, but with that group I quickly felt as if I’d known them my whole life. Finally we all showered and turned in to catch some Z’s before our exciting day in the city!
the stunning ceiling, depicting the constellations
Today was our big day in the city! I’ve been to NYC twice before, but I’ve never gone into the city just to shop and explore, so this was pretty new for me! And Amy, despite having lived in New York for five years, somehow had never made it to the city. So we took a train from Tarry Town to Grand Central Station. Amy gave me some good advice on the train ride: when in New York, always look up! She wasn’t kidding. Grand Central was amazing. It’s a dream world of architecture, a beautiful combination of classical architecture and fantasy. If I could make Grand Central my house, I would. It was breathtaking, a really fabulous welcome into the city.
We caught a subway and headed over to Purl Soho, which is the knitting and quilting store of the city, but unfortunately it didn’t open until noon. So to kill time we went off to find the Fluevog store. Siigh…what can I say about Fluevogs? I discovered this little treasure trove when I was looking at projects for the Wallflower Socks. I wanted to see what colors other people had used, and while browsing through the projects I found this one. I’m not gonna lie….I only looked at this project to look at those shoes. I mean, they’re beautiful! And they obviously look fantastic with knitted socks! I was going to email her and ask her about the shoes, but fortunately someone else had already commented asking her whether they were Fluevogs. So I used the oh-so-convenient Google, and searched Fluevogs.
Well. I am in love.
Not only are these shoes beautiful, handcrafted, and stylish, every comment I’ve seen on the website has been along the lines of “I never wear high-heels because they always make my feet hurt but I bought these Fluevogs and walked all over San Francisco without one blister or ache!” I have the same problem with heels. I’m not one of those girls who broke herself into heels in middle school and can now wear them for hours because the nerve endings in her feet are dead. Being short, every pair of pants I’ve ever owned I’ve had to hem, so to find a pair of heels that are actually comfortable would be amazing.
I had to try these on.
feeling like Cinderella here
how cute are these??
Okay, so I’m making a weird face in this picture, but what’s really going on is me saying, “Oh my gosh, these are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn!” and everyone else saying, “They look fabulous! They’d be perfect for showing off hand-knitted socks!”
Sadly, the one flaw with these shoes is…they range from $200-$400. But you know, if they last for ten years like all the reviews say, then I’d say that’s an investment worth making. I wish I could’ve walked out in them, but I think my parents would’ve gotten pretty miffed if I dropped $300 on a pair of shoes, no
the door to Narni--er, I mean, Purl Soho...
matter how cute and comfortable. So, I’m starting a jar to save up for these shoes…they’re discontinuing this color, so hopefully I’ll be able to get these before they are gone forever!
Anyway, enough about Fluevogs. After “ooh”-ing and “ahh”-ing over the shoes, we went back over to Purl Soho. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the inside–it was a beautiful whirl of colors and patterns. The first half of the narrow store is packed with shelves ceiling-high full of delicious yarn! Each column was arranged by fiber, and then each fiber was arranged by color…so pretty! It was so hard to choose what to buy…who doesn’t love souvenir yarn? I decided to go out of my comfort zone, color-wise, and bought some beautiful Koigu KPM sock yarn in a pale seafoam green. It’s 100% Merino, and very soft with a very slight halo. I think it would be perfect for a very simple lace pattern, or possibly paired with white in a floral faire-isle pattern. Maybe the Wallflower pattern! I also bought a pair of Addi Turbos in size 00, since I’ve been having trouble with gauge. Most sock patterns I have to completely change the sock because it doesn’t fit. Now I can actually just knit the pattern like it’s supposed to be made! I really wanted to buy a stack of quilting squares, because they had a lot of great fabrics, and Amy’s going to teach me how to sew this summer, but they were expensive and I was already spending enough on yarn.
After Purl Soho we got some hot dogs (which were disappointing) and went to Times Square to do the touristy thing. We went into the Disney store, which was fantastic, and Sephora! It made me wish I went to clubs or something so I could wear all that glamourous makeup! Oh, and the Toys R Us has a ferris wheel inside. Yeah. No joke.
Trinity Church from the outside--right next to the Stock Exchange
Finally we went to my favorite stop: Trinity Church. It was amazing. A towering Episcopal church right in the middle of Wall Street. Despite being dwarfed by skyscrapers, somehow Trinity Church seemed so much more larger-than-life than anything else there. The inside was even more magnificent, with beautiful carved dark wood, and stained glass windows. Buildings should look like that. Modern architecture, to me, just doesn’t seem to have the emotion and aesthetic that these chapels have. Just stepping inside filled me with awe at the capability of man, the creativity. It’s so inspiring to me. I would live in NYC just to be able to go to that church.
Finally we returned to Tarry Town. We met up with Amanda for dinner at a cute little diner. On the outside it looked like some weird, Aztec/Mexican food, and on the inside it was a little 1950′s diner! So strange, but it was good! Afterward we returned to Meghan’s and then had to drive another hour and a half to Tina’s house, where we collapsed into exhaustion.
Saturday, we blessedly slept in before getting up to go explore Hudson! Tina took us out to Verdigris, a fabulous tea shop with hundreds of different loose leaf teas. It was a dream for me! Euria got me a tea infuser spoon for Christmas, and there really is a vast difference between bagged and loose leaf! It was so hard to choose, there were so many! So I bought five one-ounce samples of different teas. Unfortunately I left them in Amy’s trunk when we got back, so I haven’t been able to taste them yet! We also went to a great little coffee shop/coffee roaster called Strongtree Coffee, where we had a good cup of coffee and bought some beans to take home.
Then we went on to Hudson Sheep and Wool Co., a yarn store which is also a mill! It was fascinating to see how the fiber is processed! There were just piles and piles of fiber everywhere, all different kinds!
roving goes in...
...and yarn comes out!
It was so cool to see all the machines and fiber, and how everything works. And then in the shop I bought some official Hudson Sheep and Wool Co. sock yarn and some Shetland roving to try out spinning on! Unfortunately the sock yarn got left at Tina’s house, so I have to wait on that, but it’s a nice blue and yellow colorway, and was dyed right there in the mill! I’m going to use it to make another pair of socks for Euria.
Tina, John the Chef, and Steve
After that we had a late lunch at the Cask and Rasher, which was a fabulous pub in Coxsackie. It was fantastic! The only beer on tap I recognized was Guinness, and it looked like the kind of place where if you asked for a Bud Light you’d get thrown out. And the food was amazing! Literally the best buffalo wings of my life, and I’ve had quite a few in my time. And the fish and chips was so well battered that you could actually pick it up and eat it with your hands, and there was more fish than batter! John, the chef, was so nice! He came out and chatted with us and gave us a slice of rum cake and mafia cake on the house! He told us about the mafia cake, a recipe he got when he was working at a jail, checking food for razors and such. This one woman always brought in a chocolate cake for her husband each week, who was a mafia hitman. Since he was so careful about cutting through the cake, she brought him a slice, and when he tried it, he asked for the recipe and she gave it to him! And let me tell you, it was delicious!
Amy and I spinning
me and my first skein of handspun!
After dinner, we went back to Tina’s to relax and spin! Tina and Amy taught me on a wheel that Tina’s selling for a friend. It was harder than it looks, but at the same time easier than I thought it would be. It’s difficult to explain. I wanted to get a thinner yarn, like fingering weight, but I couldn’t find the balance between DK and laceweight. Funny, eh? Still, Tina and Amy both said that it was a great skein for my first try! Amy’s wheel keeled over on her, so she got a new one, a very pretty Ashford Traditional. In the meantime, her old wheel (Becki) is getting fixed, and will be on loan to me once she’s in better shape! That means I’ll be able to experiment with spinning more!
After a relaxing evening, we all went to bed early, still sore and tired from our trip to the city.
Sunday was a day of relaxation for us. Tina and Steve made waffles and peppercorn bacon for us, and we all just sat around all day, relaxing. Tina purposefully planned this day of nothing for us, so that we would get a chance to recuperate before we went home, and boy did we appreciate it! A friend of Tina’s, Avyngail (I think that’s how it’s spelled…), came over and knitted with us, while we watched an episode of Castle, a great show starring Nathan Fillion. Later, after Avyngail left, we watched the new Star Trek movie, which was surprisingly good! We just relaxed, while I started working on a pair of socks on my new Addi Turbos, with yarn hand-dyed by Tina. The yarn is called Zombie Queen, mostly black with pops of hot pink, white, and gray, almost like a tweed. I really like how they turned out–they fit perfectly, thanks to my new needles!
We went back to the Cask and Rasher for drinks and wings, and I took home…the Satan Wing. One wing to rule them all, one wing to find them. One wing to bring them all, and in the excruciating, burning pain of the Ghost Pepper, bind them.
…or something like that. In prose form, this wing is made with the Ghost Pepper, the World’s Hottest Pepper. Well, actually, third as of 2007, but still. I didn’t eat one, no way. But I took one home for Euria, because he’s always wanted to try the Ghost Pepper. The results were phenomenal, I must say.Unfortunately I can’t upload the videos, but I have a fantastic video of Euria eating one (yes, one) bite of the wing. He was very angry with me while he was eating it, because it was so hot, but about ten minutes later, I got another tape of him on the phone with Will the DM, telling him how amazing it was! It was hilarious.
On Monday we drove back, and I spent a blessed couple of days in town, just relaxing after the exhaustion of so much fun! It was a blast, and I can’t wait to go back and see everyone!
So like I said, I got off track with my knitting. Part of it, I think, it the sock yarn I got for February. I’m just not very happy with it, I don’t like the colorway. I got Knit Picks Imagination Handpainted Sock Yarn in Unicorn, which the picture said was shades of pink, pale yellow, and aqua blue. The changes are a lot more extreme than I expected, and there’s a lot more purple. Anyway, I just don’t like how they’re turning out. I think I may just frog them, and turn them into some Plain Jane socks and pick a different yarn for Amy’s pattern. Plus this way I can rework them on my new needles and they’ll actually fit!
So I haven’t had the time to work on my afghan squares, since I have been working on socks, but I am very pleased with my Zombie Anastasia socks, so that makes up for it, I think.
And, in just two short days, I shall be on a plane to the land of sunshine, Jacksonville, Florida, to see my best friend, Christine! I haven’t seen her in two and a half years, way too long a time, if you ask me. We’re going to spend a week together, and go to DisneyWorld for a day or two! It should be a blast, and it will be great to enjoy some warmth, since it’s supposed to be cold all week here. I plan to reread The Name of the Wind, knit, and have fun! And then, the week just gets better. The Monday after I get back, Euria and I are going to Washington D.C. to go to a book signing at the Library of Congress. Who’s signing? Patrick Rothfuss. YES. I am so excited. This will be my first book signing, and he’s one of my most favorite authors!
Needless to say, it’s been a good month, and it’s only getting better!