Italian Tubular Cast-On

People tend not to notice things until they need/use/try them... and then it's everywhere.
Like the Italian tubular Cast-on I taught myself Tuesday. I wanted to try the Endpaper Mitts I found on Ravelry (direct link here) and that's the caston the designer uses. It's a very clever-looking finish for "raw" edges of a project. Meaning, I wouldn't use it on an edge that needs to become a seam, but for tops of socks or the cuffs of mittens it's gorgeous.

Then, yesterday, I was showing off my newly learned skill to MZ, lunchtime knitting pal extraordinaire, and I noticed that it looked remarkably similar to the edging of the sleeve of the sweater I was wearing. How cool is that?

Anyway, yesterday I cast on these Princess Mitts (not royal princess, it's named for some yarn called Princess). I used my newest trick, and it's really pretty. I <3 Italian Tubular Cast On SO much now! Note to self: next time I must remember to use smaller needles for the edge though.

(I'm using KnitPicks Swish DK in Maple Leaf for the Mitts)



After lots of pushing-off, because either my mom or I were busy with "stuff", Friday I took my motorcycle out of winter storage. I'm SO mechanically challenged, the first thing I do when Max comes out of storage is take him straight to the Honda dealership for a checkup.

Why the Honda dealership, you might ask? Waaay back in 2004, I had just completed my Basic Rider Course, loved it (!), and was looking to buy my first motorcycle. I went to the Kawasaki dealership on Long Island (I'm 99% sure it was the Hicksville one) and they were SO rude and sexist and GRRR.

Anyway, when I decided to get a kawasaki bike I found a very nice dealership on 11th Ave in Manhattan, and I ended up buying from them instead. My first Spring, I brought it back to that dealership for service. It's SO annoying to get there though - a 45 minute drive into Manhattan. Then I found the Honda dealership out on Long Island. 30 minute ride but no traffic, and the guys there are really nice! I don't have any friends who ride (well aside from LG, but she's even more of a n00b than me and doesn't have a bike yet), so I ask them all my stupid questions. When my odometer "broke" - a cable fell out - they could've sold me new pieces and charged me all kinds of money for labor and I wouldn't have known the difference. Instead this very nice and honest mechanic looked at it for 5 minutes, popped the cable back into place, and wouldn't even charge me for labor.

//end rant. wait, what's the word for happy rant? rave??

Anyway, Friday I took my bike for a checkup, it passed with flying colors and now the riding season has officially begun. I love spring!


geek code and shower stuff

Found this one a Ravelry profile - the Knitter's Geek Code:

Version: 1.1

KC!ER++ Exp++(+) SPM++ Steel@ Wood>++ BAM+@ PL@ Syn+ Nov@ Wool+>+ Lux- Stash+ Scale+(+) Fin+ >Ent Felt++ Int Lace-@ Flat@ Circ++ DPN++ Swatch+(+) KIP+++ Blog+ (SNB) FO++ WIP@ Gauge@ ALTCr++X++


Then I had to click through to the original Geek Code and try that one too:

Version: 3.1

GAT/CS/L d+ s-:+ a-- C++ U*- P+ L !E W++ !N o? K? w+
O@ M- VMS? PS+ PE+(-)@ Y+ PGP? t 5 X R- tv+ b++++ DI++(+) !D
G e++ h-- x?


What's your Knitter's Geek Code? Regular Geek code? Let me know if you try this!

Last night I went to the South Shore to pick up my dress for JS's wedding. Her mom ordered all our dresses a) so we'd get the same dyelot and b) because she lives in Jersey, aka the land of no sales tax. I was not into driving to Jersey during the week - traffic! - and JS's parents were meeting with the FH's parents Sunday, and gave them the dress.

The FH lives 4 miles down the road from my LNS, so I combined the trip. I got there 10 minutes before closing (stupid road construction) and did a very quick shop. Not that Diane kicked me out at 5:30 on the dot, which was very nice of her, but we both had places to go afterwards. I picked up some fabric I needed and the June Baubles from SamSarah. I don't love eating Strawberries but I really like strawberry motifs and stuff, so this is going on the "to stitch sometime this Spring" list. I'd love to also knit these and maybe display them together. Hahaha, as if I did "displays" - I'm soooo not that coordinated.

I picked up the my dress from the FH's parents house. His mom was wearing a gorgeous sweater. I thought I was just picking up the dress and running, but she invited me in so she and FH's sister and I chatted for a half hour, which was very cool of her. I really like the FH and now his family too :-D

I kinda owe you all the Story of the Wedding Shower. It's been consuming a lot of my free otherwise-used-for-crafting time, plus it's one of the more interesting subplots to my life right now. Possibly the only interesting one ;) So here goes...

JS has 4 bridesmaids for her wedding - her older sister (the MoH), the FH's younger sister (18-ish), JD (a pre-college friend), and me (college friend). The FH's sister didn't seem so interested in planning the shower so we've dropped her off the emails, but T, another pre-college friend, volunteered and was approved by JS, so we still have a committee of 4.

JS planned her sister's shower and has made very clear to the friends planning her shower what she liked and didn't like about that shower, so we all know what she wants. And doesn't want. She wanted something fun, relaxed, and not stereotypical bridal shower. She does NOT want any "stupid bridal shower games", and we are not to ask FH 20 questions about her under any circumstances. That's fine with us, and very true to JS. She also said no parents, just friends, because they're more fun that way... but we overruled her and invited the moms and sisters. Because I am not messing with 2 Jewish moms - that's like messing with the mafia but worse for your health.

I volunteered to host the party since T and JD have tiny apartments in the city, whereas I have a backyard. We have easy-enough access from the city via the railroad, and my brother can (and will) pick people up from the station. T and JD came up with a great idea of having a BBQ, which is perfect for JS because she likes meat better than dairy*. The three of us got together for pizza one night and talked about the shower stuff, and we all agree on what we want to do for the shower. If you're familiar with the saying "Three Jews have four opinions", which is SO true, you can understand how random and rare it really is for us to agree.

The problem is, JS's sister (SR) hasn't spoken to JS about what she wants for her shower. And SR has some very definite ideas of what she wants for a shower - a traditional, wraps and salads, stupid games, decor to match a theme, typical shower. To back this up a little, when JS gathered everyone together at her engagement party and said "Echange numbers so you can plan my shower", SR said that since she lives out of state JD and I should plan it, and she would kinda advise us. Now fast forward to March, and she has some very specific ideas and isn't just taking an advisory role.

We tried the tactful route. Her vision of Baked Ziti and a couple of salads isn't that far from our vision of hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob and a couple of salads. We even wanted to do a parve pasta salad for any vegetarians. The arguments we got were:
  • Jill doesn't like meat so much, it's just the easiest/cheapest/most convenient thing to cook. She hates BBQ and only goes to them because that's what the FH's friends invite them to.
  • Hot Dogs and Hamburgers aren't classy because they are Finger Foods and messy
  • BBQ is too heavy for lunch (we're having the shower at 12)
We were extremely tactful and very polite in our responses to these points, but I will be more blunt with you guys here so you can understand exactly how ridiculous and just plain incorrect the above points are.
  • I lived with JS , so I know very well what her dietary preferences are. She ate chicken or hot dogs every day for dinner (and sometimes lunch), dairy never. Kosher meat is very hard to find in the supermarkets near our college so she had to go very out of her way to acquire it, indicating a strong preference. The two non-college friends also know that JS likes BBQ from personal experiences of actually going to barbecues with her. Without the FH. Finally, JS has had us over to her apartment many times, and she TOTALLY likes cooking/serving/eating meat. SR hasn't lived with JS in over 10 years so maybe she is just mis-remembering... but I did NOT say to her that she doesn't know her sister as well as she thinks she does, even though it is true. Because that's just rude. But I thought it.
  • First of all, hotdogs and hamburgers aren't sloppy joes - they're very easy to eat neatly especially using a bun. Second, my mom does very "classy" barbecues all the time so I know how to throw a classy bbq from our house, no problem. And that's what I plan to do. Third, JS told us she does not want a "classy" shower - she wants something fun and chill and a chance to see all her friends. So who cares even if BBQ isn't classy - because that's not what we're going for! (If however we have a fun relaxed and chill BBQ that happens to also fit the definition of classy, that's better in my book).
  • I disagree. I also polled a bunch of people, including JD, T and FH, and they all think it's not to heavy for lunch. Again, this goes back to what JS wants - and she doesn't think BBQ is too heavy for lunch. Also, majority rules!
In the end I was kinda like, JS told us x y and z which kinda negates a and b from your plan, even though c is great and JD, T and I agree that we're going to incorporate that. This plan is what the majority wants, and this is what we think JS would like the best. SR's going along with it, I'm not sure if she's super pissed off but you know what? I was as polite and tactful as possible when I spoke to her, and we were as considerate of her position as sister of the bride as when deciding, but what JS wants takes precedence over what SR wants and she asked all of us to plan the shower.

Aside from all the drama and phone calls and passive planning, we also got a lot done. We got a guest list of about 30, sent out Evites, and have started to hear back replies. We're trying to come up with a ruse to get JS to the party (it's a surprise), and fielding questions as they come up. JS is going to love the shower, the FH's family and JS's mom seem pretty cool about everything, and hopefully we'll firm up the details soon. Most of the work won't start until after Pesach** but SR had a great idea for JS and FH-related Taboo that she's already started working on. Pretty much all of my friends are obsessed with Taboo, including JS, so even though it's technically a shower game JS will probably love it and it'll be a lot of fun.

Whoa, that was a long story! Okay, I'm off to think about something very non-wedding-related for a while. Like databases :D But please do send in your Geek code! That'd be fun to read.


*JPSA (Judaism-related Public Service Announcement): Keeping kosher means you're pretty much always going to have one or the other, serving parve (neutral) at a party is rare because it's just so much easier to have dairy desserts if you've already decided not to serve meat. Something that non-kosher-keeping people don't understand is that if a kosher-keeping person is going to eat meat, requiring that they wait 3 or 6 hours before they can have dairy again, that person doesn't want to have a tiny bit of meat sprinkled on a wrap or something, with all other aspects of the meal being parve. The kosher cafeteria at college once served something like that and nobody ordered it - because it's not "worth" having to wait the 6 hours. Hehe, ending my JPSA of the day now :-D

**Pesach = Passover. Yay, now you know some Hebrew!


I'm still here...

I got an "are you still alive" email today. I haven't blogged in a week, but even more importantly, my usually up-to-date google reader is cranky that I have 1000+ unread threads, and I haven't been commenting because I haven't been reading. But I'm still here, really!

Let's see
::scrolls through the blog to see what the last post isabout::
Aha. Since 3/31, I've

- gone on another shabbaton. Less crazy than the last time - only 1 location, more helpers, and better organization. Still an incredibly busy weekend but I was able to do more than sleep the rest of the week afterwards. Always a good thing! Stopped at an outlet mall that we passed on our way home, and went shopping at Ann Taylor. My wardrobe is now completely replenished for the spring and summer - :-D

- went to the dentist, and everything looked good. Yay! I like my dentist (he's a friend of the family and a NICE guy) but it's still a pain to go.

- orchestrated the gifts for my parents anniversary from my siblings and me. This was a 3-day production... but at least we got to skip the surpise party thing. Which is fine because they didn't want one anyway.

- planned (somewhat) JS's bridal shower. This is getting a post all its own, hopefully tomorrow. Let's just say, there's a saying, "Three Jews, 4 opinions". In our case it's 4 people planning the shower, there's at least 17 opinions, and I stupidly volunteered to corral everyone. At least I know I'll be happy with the results, right?

- worked on a couple of exchanges, and received some too. These are getting their own posts eventually... I hope...

- found Ravelry and got completely sucked in. To say it's the most amazing website for knitters and crocheters is a ginormous understatement. Btw, check out my sidebar! I have a new Progress Bars thingy that shows the projects I'm working on via Ravelry. I need to go do a 3rd post about my Ravenclaw socks. Funny story how that came into being...

- gone to work and gotten a lot of stuff done there. We're getting some crazy deadlines again :-(

Gotta run do 8 million things. Did I mention I'm still not done cleaning for Pesach? Aaah!