Today is the last day of the Taste. What a relief! There's something about the Taste that brings out my inner hater, I guess. I just want my regular commute back. Maybe in addition to the family car on the trains, they should have a curmudgeons' car. It would be full of people quietly reading-- no loud music leaks, cell phone conversations, random conversations that amount to me giving a total stranger thirty minutes of free therapy, etc. I'd be there, happily reading the New Yorker and listening to weird Japanese ambient music.

There have been some bright spots. Last week, I was riding home, tired, bored, and knitting as usual, in a train full of boisterous people. They were drunk but happy, unlike my July 3rd ride from hell. I was sitting there minding my own business when I heard some of the revelers saying, hey, hey, hey. Oh, shit, I thought, and steeled myself for the usual taunts. "Knit me a scarf," said one of the kids in the gallery. Sigh. Why do non-knitters think that is funny? Then, one of the guys clarified: "We're not making fun of you. What you're doing is different." I smiled, having never received a literal shout out for my knitting. "Let's give big props to the single mom downstairs." he continued. What the fuck? I wasn't traveling with a small child and I'm not knocked up. Do I have a really mumsy look or something, I thought. Then I realized, it's the knitting. The old knitting stereotype. Why would some young, chic single gal want to knit (in public of all places) unless there was a kid involved?

For many, many years, I avoided knitting in pastels for fear of situations like this. That is, until the recent pastel explosion chez Kirstin. Colors come in cycles, of course. Maybe it's a seasonal thing. That, or I'm finally working more colors into my wardrobe. Look, there's even coral, which is as close to orange as I get! The coral is being used in Interweave Knits' Summertime Tunic, which was the "baby" project I was knitting on the train. There's a free pdf of the pattern on their website, if you're interested/curious. I've made tons of progress on it this week, mostly due to determined knitting on the train. The other yarns are all alpacas. If you look closely, you can spot a cartoonish alpaca on one of the ball bands.

I've made a couple of baby sweaters recently for actual babies that do not belong to me. That is how I like it. I will admit that I got a little emotional when I put them together. They're just so small and cute (like the tiny people involved). I'm angling for the crazy aunt slot in this equation: the one who isn't really a relative, but is cool and spoils the kids with presents of questionable appropriateness. You might also note that neither sweater is pastel. The twins are the offspring of costume designers, so I have to bring my A game. The sweaters are an adaptation of the kimonos in Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies book, made in RYC Cashsoft yarn. Only a crazy aunt would give babies cashmere sweaters, right? Totally washable cashmere blend, not totally impractical!

The 4th was fantastic. I went to two barbecues, one of which featured many, many fireworks. Their neighbors must have spent thousands of dollars on their explosives. They were big, loud, and impressive. It was a great evening. The bottle of Gew├╝rztraminer that I bought at the Co-op turned out to be really good. It was a total pig in a poke, as I'm not really up on German wines, so its quality was a pleasant surprise. My hostess, Shannon, has just discovered the sheer joy of backstage knitting and proudly showed me her projects. It made me nostalgic for a time when I could knit at work. She's already started work on her Christmas presents. Did you guess that she's a stage manager? This put my mind spinning about my own present drawer, now sadly empty. Typically, I being my Christmas knitting in September. My family isn't as large as the Waltons, but that's still cutting it close. Inspired by Shannon's ability to plan ahead, I decided to get cracking myself. Once the books I ordered from Amazon arrive, I'll be in business. I had planned to buy from the LYS, but when I found Knit 2 Together for $5 new, I couldn't resist! I may email a few (female) family members soon about sizing, favorite colors, etc., but try to forget between now and Christmas. Or at least look surprised, eh?

I've been waiting patiently for my Ravelry invite. Well, as patiently as possible. They've compared it to the Gmail invites, but since I got a very early Gmail invite from Blogger, it doesn't really translate for me. While I wait for that exclusive invite to arrive in my inbox, I've been looking at Craftster instead. I could easily become a Craftster addict. This is one of the ways that the internet has really revolutionized knitting. I can see projects that people made in Japan, read about modifications that other people made and weird pattern errata. I've added a couple of projects to the mental list after seeing FOs on Craftster. If I were on Ravelry, I could add them to an actual queue, but that will have to wait.


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