Yet again, I've let weeks go by without updating my blog once. Now I understand why no one ever links to me on their knitting pages.
I've come down off the Nutcracker tour, which was largely to blame for my lack of updates---but not lack of material. My web activities were largely restricted to checking my email off of my cell phone. Provided that my cell worked there, which it doesn't in half of New England. Great "national" plan.
My phone died on xmas day. I'm very lucky that it held on until I got home. My dependence on my cell phone while away is almost 100%. Also, the phone was still under warranty, so my service provider overnighted me a new handset. One of my friends recently lost his cell phone on the El and I gave him much crap about not having all his numbers written down elsewhere. I was quite smug about having mine in my palm pilot. So, I was really setting myself up for the nasty discovery that I did not in fact have them all there. All but a few numbers have been recovered through other means, some no longer needed. Only one is totally lost.
I can breathe easier now that the packages that I mailed to myself have arrived. A surprisingly older gentleman from Fed Ex delivered the boxes two days after xmas. I was a bit nervous, since they were to have been delivered the day before and not showing any progress on the obsessive-compulsive fed ex tracking service. Then they arrived, unbroken, and were quickly opened to show my mother all of the good things that I gathered in my journeys.
A short list:
* two skeins of rowan 4 ply to make color block socks
* two skeins of jamieson's yarn for same purpose, from a wonderful store in lenox, mass.
* two skeins of funky variegated stahl yarn that were a gift from karen, now being made up in wonderful double cable pattern socks
* a skein of blueberry colored bartlett yarn, purchased in new hampshire, where i also went on a crazy search to find aveda products for my pig-pen hair. turned out they were available across the street from our motel.
* two skeins of wool/tencel blend sock yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery, the only redeeming feature of Putney, Vt. Visit them online at Green Mtn Spinnery
* Four skeins, various colors, of Mountain Mohair bought from the orphans basket at the spinnery.
* the remnants of my ball of Schaefer hand-dye, used to make the hat for Matt. there may or may not be enough there for another hat. perhaps for someone with a small head.

My mother gathered all of my projects in progress into a lined basket while I was away. I have many, but still the new projects call strongly to me to start them. I finally finished the faux-fairisle socks that I began months ago. I think they'll look snazzy with my birkis.
Works in progress (that I'll admit to):
* lilac rowan script bag. needs to be blocked, lined, and finished.
* red cherry tree hill spiral rib socks. not holding breath on 0 gauge knitting approching completion in foreseeable future.
* charcoal mohair lined socks. still haven't reached the heel on the first sock.
* gedifra new age shell. lost the pattern, still hoping that it will turn up.
* brown miniringel socks. promising start on first sock, worked plain. almost to heel.
* currently working: cabled sock. I enjoy the challenge, since I haven't done cables since the ugly palm pilot cover that I made. Big push to actually make socks, as it is cold and I'm tired of getting cracks in my feet.

I'm also making a few late xmas presents for folks I've yet to see. Some knit, some sound things. It's nice to have a little extension!


Live Freaked or Die
I'm sitting in a motel room in the great state of New Hampshire. It seems to be populated by yankees straight out of central casting, all of them kind of eccentric. Or more than kind of. The clerk at the motel told us a really pointless story about Handel's Messiah (which he repeatedly referred to as "Handel's The Messiah"). He is now referred to as Norman amongst the crew.
My injuries have multiplied, but are all on the mend. It remains to be seen whether or not the cut on the palm of my hand will scar. It's pink and shiny now. The bruise on my chest where Matt hit me with a pipe is a nice ripe yellow, and the accompanying abrasion matches my hand. I got a sliver in my middle finger yesterday ( ? days of the week no longer have meaning) off of one of the pipes at the theater. It hurt, and I couldn't pull it out, so I had to slice it out carefully. I never realized how much I used my middle finger, other than for the obvious, until it was encumbered by a big old bandaid. I took it off today so that I could knit, and it looks fine.
I finished two pending projects during the performances tonight (not to be named, as they will soon be presents). It was very gratifying. The mixing console was in the back of the house again, which I appreciated greatly. The board is a kid-magnet, but a lot of women also wanted to talk to me about my knitting. I went to the LYS here, which was an old lady type knitting store, but found wonderful heathered yarn from Maine there. I've also got a hat planned for one of the dancers, out of Noro Kureyon. He has a large head.
About the mixing console---the show has never sounded so good. And probably won't again. We use our rig at the next theatre, which should sound especially bad after this system. The ballet really should invest in an equalizer. And admit that you cannot use only two speakers for the house. The set up here almost sounded like an orchestra (thanks to fine equalization on the part of the local sounhd person and kicking subs), with the exception of the tape hiss during the sugar solo. It's really strange to hear tape hiss on a cd.
Karen and I went to the Shoetorium during lunch today. She was in search of a pair of Red Wings and I was drawn in by the name. The manager, who helped us, was incredibly knowledgeable about feet and the proper fitting of shoes. I finally bought a pair of Birki super clogs, which were pretty cheap since New Hampshire has no sales tax. I've wanted a pair of super clogs since my freshman year of college. There's something very fun about plastic shoes, although I went with a sensible navy.


More adventures in touring. The stage manager quit last week, between the matinee and evening performances. He is not missed. Still, we’re soon to be two persons short on the crew, with many dates left in our short tour. Note that I say persons rather than men; the artistic director/producer of the tour made a point of telling the crew that she thought the production manager should have hired more men. What a limited, sexist view of the world---and very out of step with modern stagecraft. Most of the technicians that I know are women.
Today, we had a few hours off between the lecture/demonstration (which we were initially told that we weren’t required to work) and the show call, during which the master electrician and I headed to Lenox to pay another visit to Colorful Threads. It was one of the quickest trips to the yarn store that I’ve ever made. Karen knew exactly what she wanted. She’s a very organized person. I took a little more time, but ultimately found a beautiful skein of hand-dye in shades of orange and pink, as well as a couple of skeins of sock yarn. When I’ll get to make them up, I have no idea, but I always enjoy finding yarn on the road.
Someone stole Matt's ugly hat tonight at the theatre, which is pretty amusing. Still, it's quite cold here in the industrial northeast, so I told him that he can have the hat that I knit in Burlington. That also means that I must now make or purchase a different gift for the person for whom the hat was intended.


We were supposed to tech the show today, which sort of happened. The company and artistic director were held up in the snow storm (it is the end of November, after all), and we had to wait. Luckily, it was a union shop, which meant that we had to be out of there by a specific time, rather than letting it drag on and on. And, thanks to all of the hold-ups, I managed to get a lot of knitting done on the *secret* xmas present that I'm making for a family member. I have a fair amount of down time during the show--the whole first act--so I'm knitting and getting paid. The hat looks really good. I'm making it out of hand dyed wool that I purchased at Colorful Stitches. The color blocks made interesting stripey blotches with a kind of lightening bolt motif.
We finally got our paychecks signed today. This is a bad sign. Late checks without apology. Checks on time without a signature. Postdated checks to the principle dancers. I will never work for this company again. And I'm cashing the check tomorrow.


It's Thanksgiving Day and I'm sitting in a hotel room about a thousand miles from home. It's week two of the bus and truck tour from hell. Actually, that implies that we have a bus; we don't. The company travels with two Penske trucks, two minivans, and various personal vehicles. We had to pester the production manager to get the minivan (into which the crew and our belongings barely fit), as we originally had a retired police cruiser, with broken spedometer. Five people in a sedan is a tight fit. Six people with their bags is impossible.
Most of our problems on the tour stem from lack of organization and piss-poor management. The company really needs a company manager in addition to the production manager. We just finished a rough week at a high school in Sheffield, mainly hindered by the owners of the venue. They refused to move giant piles of scenery and general crap, meaning many of our man-hours were wasted carting around their things. The we had to reset it at load out. I think that the school doesn't have vast experience in presenting.
Luckily, there are a couple of people on the crew with whom I would like to remain friends after this tour has ended: Matt, our master carpenter, and Karen, the master electrician. Matt and I became fast friends when we were stranded at the Albany airport for three hours by the company. That was a big bad omen, if ever there was one. Matt is another Chicagoan, with a wonderful sense of irony and sarcasm. We daily tell each other how glad we are that the other is on the tour. Karen is my road roommate (but not at the convent where we are normally lodged--luckily, the company recognizes that we need some personal space). She reminds me a great deal of Ingrid, my wonderful sophomore year roommate. They have very similar voices, and an easy going attitude that is essential when dealing with all of the mess this tour generates.
Karen and I went to Lenox on our day off this week. Lenox is quite different in the winter than in its tourist summer days. Our main objective was to visit Colorful Stitches, a LYS with a beautiful ad in all the knitting magazines, and to get a decent cup of coffee. The wonderful side effect is that I also got to know Karen.
I am teaching Karen how to knit. It's a pleasure. A little over a year ago, my mother taught me to knit. It was very hard for her to resist the temptation to take my first project away and do it herself, as her grandmother had done so many years before. So, when Karen complimented me on my patience, I also silently thanked my mom. My desire to take up knitting brought my mother and I closer together this past year, and I think that Karen's desire to learn is helping to forge a friendship between us.


Ok, I'm not very faithful to my blog. I don't update very often any more, probably because I don't have a lot going on at the moment. I'm passing time until I have to leave for tour. Yesterday, I decided to burn many of my cds to minidisc, to save space, etc. It has proven to be more time consuming than I had anticipated. My minidisc player is supposed to insert track marks in the appropriate places. This only happens sporadically, possibly because of the frequent bleed through of tracks on cds. So, then I must listen to the minidisc, sometimes in its entirety, to insert the track marks where they belong. Makes me a little envious of the people with NetMD players, but I'm generally satisfied with my little MZ-R700.
I'm still knitting up a storm, mostly in preparation of xmas. There is a limit to the number of knit garments that people need, so I'm trying not to overdo it. Also, I want to maintain the distinction between homemade and handmade. I'm currently working on a scarf made out Sirdar Snowflake for a friend who has pestered me for over a year to make a scarf---except she's allergic to wool. I am skeptical of all of the self-diagnosed wool allergies out there. Of course, some people may legitimately be allergic to the fiber, but I think that most people are just intolerant of the coarser fibers. There are some wonderful new blends (and old blends) of wool that are nothing like the dreaded wool sweaters from childhood.


I've had a tumultuous couple of weeks since my last post. I used to be so faithful about updating my blog.
While I haven't been updating this page, I've been up to the following: packing up all of my personal belongings and driving halfway across the continent; knitting four hats (thank god for worsted weight yarn!); starting on a rowan script bag in a bulky lavender wool, then discovering that I was 40 meters short; making a fabulous modern tweed scarf with an intentional hole in it to be given as an xmas present. I was pretty irked at the authors of the pattern for the scarf. The photo had a big hole to pull the end of the scarf through, yet the pattern called for a single yarnover hole! Luckily, my mother was on hand to advise alternate methods. I proceeded to make the hole "too big". Pretty strong talk from a woman who just made a hat large enough to fit Mush Mouth on Fat Albert! She plans to felt it down to human size soon.


Eleanor and I went to the Knit Out in Union Square today. Eleanor is currently knitting a striped hat on retro colored metal dps. I took my spiral ribbed sock (in progress), which was fussed over by several people. It is cute, but I haven't internalized the pattern yet. I think that the variegation makes it look trickier than it is, which is fine as far as I am concerned. I've also used yarn that is printed to make a fair isle pattern. I'm shameless. My objective in going to this free event (other than sussing out the NY knitting community) was to learn to knit backwards. Luckily, there was a slightly intimidating European woman working the sweater doctor table who taught me the technique. It's still difficult for me, since I just learned it. Also, I hold the yarn in my right hand, which I gather is kind of goofy for american knitters, which makes it tricky. Not as tricky as relearning to knit, though. So, I came home and tried it out on my sweater in progress and almost did a dance of joy. This is much better than turning the sweater around and around again!
Oh, that. I've decided to stop marinating my New Age shell while I still have some hope of wearing sleeveless garments this year. I finished the back piece and have begun working on the front. It still looks like a muppet, but if you squint, you can sort of see a sweater. After this, and all of my other current projects (spiral socks, bias scarf, my other fair isle sock, the long linger lined socks), I may tackle a sweater with sleeves. But that won't happen for a while


Well, I've joined the ranks of the unemployed. Half of the people that I know are currently out of work. It's not a good situation. So I'm combing the trades trying to find another job, one that might even pay enough to live on. What a novelty! In the meantime, I will also make an attempt to get unemployment. The worst they can say is no, I suppose.


It's been two weeks since my last post. Sorry. Things have been quite busy. In that time, I've had a visit from a good friend from Chicago, been on a couple of interviews, and finished my contract with the theatre. I also found a cute lavalier microphone in the Full Compass catalog for a ridiculously low price---one I could actually afford! Now, I impatiently await its arrival in my mailbox so that I can begin recording essays and letters to my other av nerd friends.
The theatre finally looks like a working theater. In a few days, it will even have its first show. So, I'm glad that the open house was so close to my last day. It was a wonderful party, a great change of pace from the stress in the office. I even ran into a few people that I hadn't seen in years.
My boss didn't say anything about my last day. In fact, I am not sure that he realized that it was my last day. I didn't want or need a big fuss. One of the wonderful stagehands took me out to lunch and I received many offers of coffee, drinks, etc. from my coworkers. Still, it was odd not to receive any sort of acknowledgement from the boss. I wonder if he'll call on Monday asking where I am!
I finished knitting the Kroy socks that I designed for a friend. Ideally, they would have been finished while he was in town, but alas... I had problems with fiber splitting while finishing the toe of the second sock. It looks "homemade" in the derogatory sense of the word, but it was too damn hard to take out and fix. So I'm already working on another pair of socks with a spiral rib pattern, out of beautiful variegated pink and red soft wool.
My good pal Amy and I went out after my last day of work to take in a screening of Mulholland Drive in the Village. The acting and art direction were incredible, though I think that it requires repeat viewings to discern its nuanced clues. It was quite a mind bending experience. I've had "Crying" stuck in my head since I left the theatre, though not in Spanish as it appears in the film. At least they didn't sing "Oklahoma!".


I found a great website devoted to the charming medium of the minidisc. Yes, the minidisc, spelled with a c, not a k. It drives my spellcheck crazy. The website is , which has many resources for the minidisc user or afficionado. Some of the people involved are a bit more...fervent about it than I am. It was nice to stumble upon a community of other MDers.
I've used my minidisc player almost exclusively since I bought it. It skips far less than my discman (I won't jinx it by saying never, but it has yet to happen), and also has more economic battery usage. I haven't burned many of my cds to md, so it's been a restricted playlist, but I have no complaints. Now, I have only to get a microphone for it, so that I can make field recordings and personal voiceovers a la Felicity to send to my friend Willie in Iowa.
Which reminds me--I've figured out why all of the big Broadway sound designers are hard of hearing. It's not from work. The subway here is so damned loud, I'm surprised that anyone can hear. Though years of ringing out the house, etc. probably has something to do with it as well.


Oh, I forgot to mention my latest adventure in things technical. My boss's ancient mac died, possibly due to the move. He refused to give it up for dead, I suspect because he probably hadn't backed it up. So, he pried it open and pulled out the hard drives to install in his "new" computer. His "new" computer is at least six years old and has different protocol than the previous one. You know you're in trouble when you have to upgrade to a machine that the tech support people call a doorstop! So, he had me carry it over to Tekserve in a big box, where I waited patiently for service. Tekserve is an interesting place. Their waiting area looks like a lounge at the airport and features an old coke machine that dispense little glass bottles for ten cents. I drank several in my hour long wait, while watching early video art projected onto a giant screen. It was a piece that I'd seen before at MassMoCA featuring complicated chain reactions, all done in a single take. The service estimate was predictable. They promised nothing, which is what I suspect will be received.
When I returned to the office, I told a couple of the tech staff about it. This sort of thing is typical behavior for my boss. The head of IT told me that he has a brand new Dell that my boss refuses to use because it isn't a mac. He prefers to try to revive a machine that was state of the art while I was in grade school.

It's official: TWO of my relatives read this blog! I suppose that I could just sit down and write letters, but that isn't gadget-y enough for me. I like gadgets.
I am recovering from the flu. I had to leave work early on Friday because of it. Luckily, one of my stage manager friends came to meet me at work and took me back to her apartment to nap and recover. Matzo ball soup, homeopathic remedies, and an incredible amount of sweat seem to have flushed it from my system. I'm still not 100%. The brain moves slower when you are ill. I also have a chapped nose. I'm trying not to be a big baby about being sick, or as little as possible considering that I can't breathe through my nose.
I'm supposed to meet one of my friends at the Goethe Institute tomorrow for the reception of a photography exhibition, but that looks unlikely. There are a lot of exhibitions on the subject of New York up now. I went to one at the Jewish Museum a couple of weeks ago, which I mentioned in a previous post.
Now, I am downloading a big update to my antivirus software. I already downloaded it once this morning, but the file turned out to be corrupt. There was much swearing involved.


My dad recently said, "everything I know about my daughter, I read on the internet". So, at least one person is reading this site! Today was a fairly easy day at work. The calm before the storm? We're waiting for our equipment to arrive so that we can convert and install it. There will be a big push to get everything up in the space once the conversion has been done. So many delays have occurred.
I'm still knitting up a storm. I'm about halfway through the foot of a fair isle sock. Some nervousness that I've made the leg part of the sock too long and will run out of yarn before I reach the toes. Hard to say. The foot is always the least interesting part of the sock.


Today was a much needed day off. A day to run errands! In the rain! Alas, most of the places that I wanted to go were closed. It seems other people had the day off as well. I was not upset about this turn of events, oddly. After a frightening turn of tunnels, ramps, and sheet plywood in TImes Square Station, I decended to the NR platform to hear a woman playing Bach on a saxophone. It was a revelation. The saxophone is not, I believe, a baroque instrument. And yet, lovely sounds issued forth from her shining horn.
The purpose of this venture was to obtain a copy of the new McSweeneys. I knew I should have subscribed to them years ago, when they offered a lifetime subscription for something like $100. Oh well. Luckily, St. Marks was open and had many copies. I was happy. Happy enough not to be upset that all of my other plans for the day fell through. That is the beauty of the legal holiday; it frees you up not to care about little annoyances.
I finished my green and blue socks yesterday. I wore them today with a pair of Birks. It was perhaps not the best choice of footwear for a rainy day. Of course, I have begun another project, a pair of Fortissima Fair Isle socks. The pattern is printed onto the yarn, so it requires no tedious color work.
I am still looking for another job. That is, a job to replace my current one. I would prefer something related to my chosen field, but mostly, I'd like to earn enough to live on. Enough to live in New York on.


My job has reached new lows in terms of drudgery. We've just moved our offices, so most of my tasks have been related to that. Like packing (and predictably, unpacking) my boss's desk. For this, I got a degree? My boss proudly told me on Friday that he put me in speed dial on his cell phone. We're a cell-heavy office. I suspect this is to blame for the fact that I went over my 600 minute calling plan last month. 600 minutes is ten hours .
I went to the International Center for Photography last night. The exhibits were dull, but the space is gorgeous. I sat through most of a series of "short" multichannel video art pieces, causing great boredom for my companion. One of them was beautiful, featuring a woman in a paisley broomstick skirt twisting about underwater. Afterwards, I went home and watched silent super 8 movies with my hosts. They could easily convert to a video art piece; film looks sp much better than video.
I am still knitting the blue and green vareigated socka socks that I was working on while standing in line at TKTS. Now, I am on the second sock. Knitting in the round attracts a lot of curiosity/attention when done in public places. I am eagerly awaiting a second skein of peace fleece so that I can finish the scarf that has been sitting on a pair of needles for too long. Since the recipient of the scarf said that he doesn't want to see it until it is finished, so that it will be a surprise, I can only work on it after he has gone to bed. I feel like a reverse Penelope.


I got a letter from my father today, in which he mentioned reading my blog. So it's not the ultimate vanity publishing affair. Since my last posting, I have finished and worn the Jaeger socks. I had forgotten what it feels like to wear handmade socks (in DK, thick). I quickly tired of the colorwork in the Rebecca shell and stowed it in a hatbox. Now, I'm working on a bias knit scarf out of hand-dyed variegated yarn from Peace Fleece. It is so beautiful and soft, due to the mohair content. I highly recommend them. Their yarns are tweedy and gorgeous, with unusual names like Volgassippi Blue.
I went to the Jersey Shore and took photographs of the ocean. So that's out of my system now.
I played hooky from work yesterday and hit the TKTS booth. The line moved pretty quickly, which is good as the person directly behind me had nooo concept of personal space. And she loudly chewed gum. I went to Urinetown, which I'd wanted to see ever since I heard an essay about it on NPR. The show was very clever, but in a self-conscious manner.
I went to the photography exhibition at the Jewish Museum tonight, which is far outside my usual wanderings. The exhibition was so-so. I should have listened to the review in the New Yorker. That is something that I am discovering: being able to evaluate the accuracy of the critics when I've seen the item in question. The NY'er was pretty cruel to Harlem Song. The show only needs a plot and an intermission.
I've been playing with my new minidisc. I've used the racks before, but never the portable unit. Picked up five discs at a large a/v store that I won't name and discovered when I got home that the reason why the price was low was that they were grey market discs. All of the labels were in japanese. One of my friends tells me that minidiscs are very big in Japan, but that may not prevent them from being the eight track of the nineties...I bought mine to do field recording, as the price of a decent DAT is prohibitive, but I also like using it to listen to a little bossa nova on the A train.


Things are moving very quickly on my Jaeger sock. Maybe I will work in DK more often! I've been putting off working on my Rebecca pattern shell, since I've gotten to the point that I must begin the color work. It isn't shown with color work in Rebecca, but I've decided to knit the ribbing at the color and armholes in a contrasting grey. This would be much easier had I chosen a pattern where the ribbing is knitted later than the body of the garment. Instead, I must reinvent the wheel. Knitting with four letter words.
I took a photo of the Hudson the other day, an entire frame of waves. I don't see the Hudson everyday, even though I go through the Lincoln Tunnel five times a week. The ideal image would have had a 2/3 water composition, but there were too many distracting details on the horizon like New Jersey. I've yet to complete the twelve exposure roll of film that I began when I first arrived in this fair city. That's a depressing thought.


I started knitting a pair (well, one at the moment) of socks from the basic Ann Norling pattern from beautiful variegated merino Jaeger DK. It is lovely shades of blue, with some color blocks appearing. They're not large enough to bother me. It's been so long since I knit a pair of socks in DK that I am amazed at how fast they are knitting up. Of course, that is the difference between 00 needles and 6s!


Again, it has been a long time since my last update. Months, even. I've been quite busy with my new job, at a dance organization in New York (so I've relocated as well; I have lots of excuses). I can't remember the last time I worked 40 hours a week consistently. Consequently, I have not had a lot of time to work on my wips. My wips are in Chicago and I am here, so they are unlikely to be finished in the next few months. For some reason that I do not recall, I left my yarn stash in Chicago, so I am exploring the yarn shops of New York. So far, I have visited Purl, in SoHo, Gotta Knit, on 6th Ave., and The Yarn Co., on Broadway. None of them are a replacement for my favorite yarn stores in Chicago, but I will have to make do until my mother sends a care package with some of my stash in it.
So what have I been doing all this time, if not knitting? I've seen three shows and attended two concerts in Central Park. I'd like to take advantage of all of the cultural opportunities in the city, but I am often dead tired after work. Still, I hope to hit the free days of all of the major museums and see more theatre and dance before I leave.
I've done very little photography lately, which is a shame. It's just a question of carrying one of my cameras with me, which I don't. I dread being mistaken for a tourist. I'm working on a series of things that I see everyday to send to one of my friends who has never been to NY. I'm shooting Fujichrome MS100/1000 at ISO 400 with my trusty Holga. Ideally, I will have another Holga in the near future, so that I can keep one loaded with black and white and the other with color.
I'm knitting myself a sweater, from an adapted pattern in the summer issue of Rebecca. They show it with a wide welt of fisherman's ribbing at the hem, but that is not flattering on anyone but the tiniest of knittters! I'm making it up in Gedifra New Age. It looks like I'm knitting a muppet. Since it's gotten too large to carry on the subway everyday, I've decided to start knitting socks again. I've also got a big wish list of future projects, from Rebecca, my Rowan book, and the anniversary edition of VK. Soon...
Will update soon with more tales of the city.


Wow, I haven't updated this page in a long time. Sorry to keep you waiting. It's not as though I haven't done anything in the last couple of weeks, but it has been the same few things over and over again. The show that I am working on closes on the 22nd, and then I am off to the east coast. The Rowan 4-ply that I bought on ebay arrived today. It is not the color that I expected, but more of a burnt orange. Like a 70s kitchen, minus the avocado tupperware. Still, it is very nice yarn in search of a project. I took the peach boucle sock out of my wip limbo drawer. It is about an inch away from the toe decreases. Began a new pair of socks for my grandfather and outsmarted myself in setting in a contrasting color heel. My mother tells me that I must knit short rows in order to avoid carrying the heel color across the instep. I dread short rows.
I got a new cell phone, which is a fabulous little toy that I don't really understand. That is to say, I am still learning how to take advantage of its many functions. Very few of the shortcuts from my last, superannuated phone carry over onto this one, probably because they are different brands. I predict greater thumb dexterity in my near future.


I can move another project out of the WIP column: the lacy scarf I've been carrying around for the past week is finally finished. Now, I can return my attentions to the shell that has been neatly rolled in my bag for the past couple of weeks. I carefully tore out the supermarine section, which had been knit at too small a gauge. This is a bit tricky with long haired angora/mohair fibers. Now, I am working on one of the tasks I like least in knitting: a gauge swatch. It's necessary to make a properly fitted garment, but I hate making something that I know will be torn out again. Better a four inch square than half a sweater!


I made a little trip to Arcadia Knitting in Andersonville over the weekend, since I had a few questions about yarn substitutions in patterns. If you haven’t been to Arcadia, I highly recommend paying them a visit. It’s run by a pair of sisters who are cool and quite helpful. The store is arranged by color, which is great if you tend to gravitate towards certain colors. On this visit, I found a very cool hank of Classic Elite Yarns Commotion in the discount bin. Elite lists two gauges for this yarn, one for a fairly tight fabric and the other for a loose, lacy fabric. I’m making a scarf on 10.5 needles, twenty stitches wide, as instructed by one of the sisters. She also advised me on alternate yarns to use for patterns in the Rowan Big Easy book. The scarf, which is a guilt project, is moving very quickly, as overgauge projects do. I’ve already knitted over two yards! It attracts a lot of compliments when I work on it in public.
I've also undertaken some sewing projects this week, thanks to the generous gift of several funky fat quarters from my mom. She gets a collection of them in the mail every month. Two of them are in the process of becoming bags: one a bag just the right size for carrying a sock project, and the other a small handbag. The handbag has been a bit of a headache, so when the bobbin thread ran out this morning, I decided to call it a day.
Wednesday, I took in the Magnum Cinema exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. It was a lovely way to pass an afternoon. I love the work that the Magnum photographers did in the fifties and sixties: dramatic, noir, well-composed, and grainy. It's the work that I aspire to make, which I guess means that I'm either really retro or forty years behind the times. There were a lot of images from the set of The Misfits, the film that Arthur Miller wrote for Marilyn Monroe. The Magnum group had the sole rights to photograph on the set. It's a great show that I would recommend to anyone who loves classic cinema or fifties photography.


We have a show! Last night went so much better than the previous night. Now, we have only to tighten it up.


Yet another hard night at the light board last night....The stage manager and the lighting desiger had a sotto voce conversation, which I in my usual paranoid state, assume was about my perceived or possibly actual incompetence. It's a hard show to run, due to its cue structure and the fact that it's all manual. The board is like chess: I have to be able to see so many moves ahead of where I am to make sure that I don't make stupid errors. Sometimes, I look at it and I can see how I'm going to run half of the show; I know exactly how my hands have to move. Other times, I can't see any of that. So this has been a little hard on my ego.


My sweater has hit a big snag. I was knitting like crazy during rehearsals, receiving lots of praise and requests for knitting lessons (the answer to which is always yes), and made a big gauge error. I worked in a beautiful supermarine angora for the collar area and made it too small. I looked at it after I bound off and realized that there's no way that my big head will fit through that hole. So, I have to tear it out again and reknit it with a larger pair of needles. I haven't the heart to do this, so I've put the project away for a few days and have been working on my supertiny gauge charcoal wool socks instead. That project is moving at a glacial pace and I'm okay with it. I don't need instant gratification all the time.

Tech, tech, and more tech. Tattoo Girl goes into previews on Wednesday, which is alarmingly soon for me. I had a really shitty rehearsal last night. I messed up the set up of a single cue and it tracked into the next ten. I'd much rather have this happen in rehearsal instead of in front of an audience, but honestly, I'd rather that it didn't happen. A dry tech may be in the works. The people working in the other half of the space threw the breaker on the main in the middle of our run last night, and were pretty casual about it. 'Did you throw the breaker', 'Oh..yeah', 'Can you reset it again please?'. We're all in our own little worlds in theatre, but that was ridiculously thoughtless.
Other things that are happening: I'm crashing with friends for a few days, to cut down on the long late night commute. This is in exchange for working in the woodshop, which can be quite pleasant. The current project is one that was in the planninng stages last summer, when I regularly worked in workshop, so there is a nice sense of continuity.
Last night, after my bad, bad rehearsal, I received an email from Blue Heron. My August project has been shut down for lack of funding. I am saddened by that, as I like the production team and the opportunity to design (and earn money). Still, this seems like a blessing in disguise. The production is technically on hold, but I'm going to clear the commitment from my calendar and attempt to fill those dates with new projects. Possibly more NY things, like fringe fest or the juicy met job that was just posted on backstagejobs. I've really got to add a links list to this page. Yet another question for dad!


I started work at the Viaduct theatre on Tuesday. It’s an odd little space, with an inconspicuous sign made of plywood. Very easy to miss. Cobalt is working in the smaller space, which has a crazy, uneven floor and wrought iron chandeliers that give it a very goth look. The people in the ensemble are really nice, making it a very comfortable work environment. And the commute takes about half the time that the trip to my last job did!
So that is off to an auspicious start. I’m starting research for my August project. I keep returning to my Cindy Sherman book, even though the film stills don’t really express the lighting situations that I want. It’s the dramatic tension, I suppose, or the effect of having a small, small collection of art books. Hope that I can find real film stills from the film noir era. I adore the inky black cinematography of the 40s, but it doesn’t always translate to the stage. For some odd reason, people want to see the actors.
I’ve temporarily stopped working on my shell. I worked in the purple mohair and it looks bad. The contrast between the two colors is too great, and I worked it in too late. So I’ll have to return to the Weaving Workshop to pick up a more complimentary yarn, then tear out about twenty rows. It’s much better than just living with a bad design choice, though.
Since my load-in schedule is much lighter than expected, I went to Guild on Wednesday after telling people that I wouldn’t be there again for weeks. I didn’t have anything else to do. It was a wonderful coincidence, because similar reasons brought my friend Kate, a busy, busy actress who I see every couple of months, there as well. We were chatting about our upcoming projects (the old question, ‘what are you working on?’ is much less annoying when you’re actually working on something), and I brought up my upcoming internship at Dance Theatre Workshop. She very casually asked me if I needed crash space. I had a strong feeling that I would find something through six degrees of separation, but I hadn’t even thought to ask Kate. She’s so kind and generous and must have the best crash karma of anyone I know. So it was a very lucky impulse that brought us both to Julia’s house last night.


Sorry I haven’t updated this page in ages. I’ve been a busy girl. This past week, I worked as an assistant on a pair of Durang one-acts at a community college. All of the actors were students, but the techs were all pros. It was nice to be back in the theatre environment, but there were a lot of things that could have run smoother. And I certainly don’t miss that hour and a half commute.
I was supposed to see the new Charles Mee play at Lookingglass on Sunday, but I got caught in a big Cinqo de Mayo traffic jam on the way to the theatre. Instead, I headed up to the Weaving Workshop in Lincoln Park, in search of European pattern books and yarn for a project. I picked up the latest issue of Rebecca magazine (there’s an old blog about it at www.chicknits.com), mostly for a short sweater with cabled smocking, which sounds bad but is actually quite stylish. I also bought the Rowan Big Easy book, which contains about fifteen giant gauge chunky garments designed for trendy young knitters. Alas, the yarn used in all of them is expensive and I am broke. Maybe when I have a day job.
So I’ve started a shell, from a chicknits free pattern, in a green merino/angora blend. I’m afraid that I will run out of yarn before I finish it, so I’m toying with the idea of making a yoke type pattern with an excellent purple mohair that I have left from making a scarf for my godmother. I can’t decide if it will be ohmigod gorgeous or hideous. I’m very fond of designs that walk that fine line.
What else has happened? Well, I had an interview for an internship at Dance Theatre Workshop in New York, which started as a sort of comedy of errors. Things worked out well in the end, though, and I am now looking for temporary digs in NYC for this summer. On the cheap. The Blue Heron show that I am designing later this summer had its first production meeting. I really like the director; it seems like a good group. The design is going to be really abstract, my favorite kind of show. The director went straight for my favorite photograph in my portfolio. So, it was a big relief to me that the show isn’t being produced as a kitchen sink comedy, as it was in the Steppenwolf production. I
start work tomorrow on Tattoo Girl at Viaduct Theatre. This will be my second Izuka show.
**Ongoing Projects**
*blue cotton socks to be given as a mother’s day present to my grandmother. My mom has been playing knitting fairy lately and knit an inch or two for me while I was at work.
*peach boucle anklets in Impressionist yarn. Chalk it up to spring weather and an impulse buy from the sale shelf at Knitting Etc.
*grey wool socks lined in white mohair. This is moving super slowly, since I am working it on 00 needles. Luckily, there’s no rush.
*the excellent shell mentioned above, in Takhi Sable, a sale table find!
*the purses, still
**Planned Projects**
*Lots of socks. They’re a good warm weather project.
*The Interweave sweater pattern, mentioned previously
*The Rebecca smocked sweater, once I find the right yarn
*A new, improved website.
**Projects I’d Love to Undertake**
*One of the many excellent Peace Fleece kits (go check them out at www.peacefleece.com)
*One of the big, funky Rowan projects from my new book


I finally finished the super-tight striped socks that I was working on, and true to form, replaced that project with a new one. I'm now knitting a pair of white, ribbed socks (using a pattern this time), using KFI Gelato Cotone for the cuffs. The rainbow variegation has worked into a spiral stripe around the sock, which I hadn't anticipated but have decided to like. The yarn is very soft and knits fast. So all of my other projects are on the back burner for the moment.
I've been on a big self-maintenance kick these past few days. My trip to the dentist led to a prscription toothpaste and reinforced my recurring dream about all of my teeth falling out. This requires an elaborate pre-bed brushing routine and vigorous flossing. The box that the prevident came in claims that it has been clinically proven to reverse enamel carries in three months. So, I'm trying very hard to remain devoted to this routine. And since I was already spending so much time in the bathroom, I decided to return to my on-again-off-again skin regimen. This should be good for Clinique!
While I was waiting for my prescription to be filled at the ubiquitous Walgreens, I wandered the store in search of entertainment, that is, impulse purchases. My haircolor badly needed maintenance and had begun to look, well, fake. I wanted something that looked more natural (difficult, since my natural color is dimly remembered at best) and scanned the Feria shelf in search of the elusive perfect color. I ended up with a chocolatey brown color, which is shocking after ten plus years of blonde hair. It took me a day or two to decide that I like it. We'll see how long this lasts.
Another thing that I wonder the duration of is the stream of job offers that I have received lately. I just had to turn down another job this morning, due to the last minute nature of the offer. Advance notice is good, but I understand how these things get pushed off to the last minute. That email also proves that people do indeed read the callboard on backstagejobs.com, about which I had begun to wonder. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that an offer will come along soon that I can accept.


Yesterday, I had a meeting in Lakeview to sign the contract for one of my jobs. This required one of my absolute favorite activities---city driving. I was in my mom's car, which I cannot parallel park without making about ten passes at the space, and also has the mystery horn. Where on the wheel should you press to sound the horn? It's a mystery! And a horn is very necessary in Chicago. The whole thing put me in a bad mood.
I also explored a new yarn shop, Arcadia Knitting, in Andersonville. It's a very cute place where all of the merchandise is arranged by color.I'd hoped to find yarn for the shell that I plan to make, but it was too hot to make any decisions.Maybe when it is cooler, I will return.
A few weeks ago, I pitched an idea to the Division of Performing Arts, aka my school, for a photo project documenting their big new play festival. I really wanted to do it, because I haven't photographed any theatre since November. So, I sent emails and mailed off a cd of my photos as part of the pitch. Then I didn't hear anything, and started booking jobs in Chicago. I got an email last night from my former boss in Iowa, saying that she really wanted me to come do the festival gig. Unfortunately, I just agreed to work as an assistant designer that week here in Chicago. Turning down work should be a good thing, right? A sign of success, that I am working steadily. Instead, it made me very unhappy, because I really wanted to return for festival, but I also need to think about getting my design career moving. To console myself, I stayed up late into the night playing with the Mother's Day card kit I picked up at Paper Source. Let's hope that I still like the cards when I'm not frustrated and tired.


Today is very hit or miss. I continue to play phone tag with people who I hope will employ me. The tech information arrived today--unexpectedly quickly--for a show that I am designing in August. As usual, I was multitasking, and got a deep paper cut and bled all over the envelope. Another argument for the digital revolution. Things are starting to look up on the employment front. I've booked two jobs, possibly a third. So, this is a
pretty lousy time for my Palm Pilot to act up. An old-fashioned engagement calendar is making its way from the amazon warehouse to me as I type.
Fortunately, the weather is wonderful. My Holga camera has sat on the shelf sadly for months, waiting for the procession of overcast days to end. Perhaps I will make a dent in the brick of MS100/1000 chrome film in my freezer sometime soon!I optimistically took the Holga along to a
lunch in Chinatown a couple of weeks ago, but I doubt that I made any good exposures. Sometimes, it's just about the zen of photography. Lately, I haven't made any images with which I have been satisfied. All of my work has been too much in my head. I've also been fussing over my film scanner, so that I can get my images online and on to discs to send out with my resume. Who wants to hire a designer without seeing any of their work? Also, I'd like to replace these rock photos (very inoffensive) with some of my own images. I've been knitting up a storm lately, which is good since I have so many works in progress.
Currently on the needles: a mint and lavender striped sock, a ribbed green and pink sock, a pair of blue cotton socks for my grandmother that I must finish by mother's day, and a pair of handbags made from a free pattern off the frugalhaus site. I didn't cast on enough
stitches for the ribbed socks, so they fit like a glove. They also look really ugly on, so I think that they will only be worn with docs. The cotton yarn that I am using to make the blue socks splits like crazy, to the point that I almost dread working on them.
Projects that I have planned: a sweater found in Interweave, a sort of shrug with the body of a shell attached, in dark blue; a shell (but I haven't found the right yarn yet); a rolled brim hat out of gorgeous kureyon yarn; many, many pairs of socks. I keep telling myself that I must finish the projects I have going before beginning any more, but I think that I am working at a replacement rate.

I'm just beginning this blog today, and I haven't written any entries for it. Advanced planning can be a bit of a stretch. Luckily, I've already done my taxes! Come back later to check out a finished site with entries about photography, theatrical design, and knitting.

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