Knitting with the Monsters...

My life with two toddlers and two cats, all of whom are out to drive me nuts and destroy my knitting!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Maddie!!!

I can't believe it's been another year. I do recall it's vaguely my blogiversary as well... one of my first posts was a birthday post with Maddie and her orange and pink striped hooded cardigan that I made in time for her birthday last year.
Her birthday this year means another sweater, and almost FO. No pictures as of yet due to unfinished sleeve/side seams, and an unusually beautifully hot day for my little girl's birthday. It's a welcome first as all her birthdays (including her Birth day) have always been cloudy, rainy, or cold. Not today! It was beautiful, lovely weather. See?

Of course you knew I wouldn't post without a picture (I try not to, at least, my writing definetly isn't interesting enough to linger for...) so here's some to prove I'm not biased against the little man... he just usually doesn't stay still enough!

Now then. Onto more knitting news and a proper knitting post...


Because I didn't premise the last post, I'll tell whomever y'all out there are about it. I mentioned a few posts ago that my friend Ling and I wanted to go away for a weekend together to knit and not have the husband and kids around. We planned for the spring/summer/fall, and it was somewhat of a yes we should and let's eventually type of thing. Then Ling found out she was expecting baby number 3. Which means now there's a bit of a deadline because my little man is 16 months and there was no way I would have left him the first year. So we agreed to go for it, and with both of our lovely dh's support (and ££) we booked our trip in between family obligations.

So onto what happened..

Wow. What is there to be said that someone else hasn't said better about New York city? There's so much to love about New York. It's like a little slice of America that's not too jarring from the UK for me. After being in London for over 6 years, I'll admit I've gotten used to being in a big city. I like it (most of the time...). I love feeling like I'm in the hustle and bustle, love the shopping, always find the people interesting, especially as London't such a melting pot of cultures.

And New York is like that. I find when I go home to visit the folks once or twice a year, it's so difficult for me to re-adjust to all the driving. My parents now live out in somewhat the somewhat rural eastern shore of Maryland. And it's 40 minutes to the outlets. An hour and a half to Annapolis. To visit my friends it's a bigger driving nightmare. And although I drive 30-45 minutes depending on traffic ONE WAY to drop Maddie off at school, it's city traffic which isn't as wearing as high speed long distance driving can be.

The thing about a big city (I am getting to knitting, honest) is that yes, there's plenty of traffic (gah! the horror of the traffic!) in London, but there is Public Transport. Might not work perfectly, but the option of train, cab, tube, bus is there, as is walking. New York is the same way. So if you want to be lazy (and you have no prams or not alot to carry) you don't HAVE to drive. It's also such a fabulous way to see some of the city's culture that they don't nessacerily show in the guidebooks...

So we arrived at our hotel, gasped at the size of the room which was as big as the double bed (not lying), and went straight out to the mecca that is... PurlSoho. I had so many things on my list - about 8 or 9 projects. The dh gave me a generous budget, and so, yes, I Splurged. There was alpaca. There was cashmere. There was also some Cascade, both Luna and 220. In the end I walked out with two bulging bags. I should point out here that I bought enough for the Ombre Alpaca blanket from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (by the owners of Purl!), which was 41 skeins. That took up ALOT of space and made me look like a yarn piggy. Which, okay, I AM.

On the way back to the hotel, we made the important decision to ask if there were any other rooms available. I-don't-care-what-it-costs. And we got a suite. Which was a nice sitting room, and a bedroom the same size as our old room. It madeit sooo nice to have a place to knit. I'll admit here that I didn't actually knit as much as I wanted to. I was Distracted by the yarn. I was Distracted by Having No Kids around and being able to do Whatever I Wanted to. By having another adult around whom I'm not married to. It was nice. I had fun. Lots. I missed the kids and the dh, but every time I thought 'I wish they were here', I mentally smacked myself and reminded myself of the nightmare it would have been, and I was grateful to be alone.

The other places we visited were the PointNYC, which was really great. I think actually we visited after Purl. We were yarned out (hell I know my chequebook was) so we went in, gazed lovingly at the yarn, sat in their lovely cafe with a red velvet cupcake (for me) and water for us both, read magazines, and chatted to the other knitters around. For me, it was heaven. Being connected to everyone because hey, I can do that too and what are you working on? and where are you from? and the best - do you have a blog? We met a lovely lady whose address I DO have, I just have to find it on the back of a business card... but when I do I'll link to her! and saw a knitting group working on their weekly projects. THEN we went back and changed rooms.

Saturday I met up with an old college friend and her husband, and did loads of not yarn shopping. And lots and lots of walking. I wish I'd taken the subway, but I wasn't quite confident enough for that, and hey, I stupidly thought, it's only a few more blocks (cough, miles...) to the hotel! Had a nice afternoon and then went out to dinner with Ling to Asia de Cuba, recommended by the loving and amazing dh (and paid for!). I've been to the one in London (one of my favorite places when I ate without children) and it was just as good, only the portions were, let's just say, Bigger. And I got two pork dishes (duh!) when there was loads more to choose from. Sometimes I suffer from overload. Ah well, it was good anyhow.

Sunday we lazed about, found breakfast, and then went to Knitty City. Lovely place, helpful ladies, and lotsa knitters. It was crowded for a late Sunday morning. Something else I love about America... no Sunday trading laws. Thank God for that! I held myself back and 'only' got some Handmaiden Sea Wool - for socks!!!, and a project for Mads and Jamie. Not sure if the project for Mads will happen but the color of the wool is lovely. Actually, I think we went to Knitty City on Saturday. (never mind. we went).

I had a funny moment whilst there - I thought I spotted brooklyntweed. There was a guy with a similar build sewing up a sweater. Could Have Been! I didn't make an ass out of myself or anything, but kept browsing, and as I was next to the books session, he was asking someone about blocking his sweater he was seaming. Which of course meant there was no way in hell it could be mr tweed, as we all know (well if you don't then read his blog) what a technical guru he is... there's no way he'd be considering blocking a wool sweater by steaming it on a hanger in his bathroom!

Okay now that I realise we weren't there Sunday, I remembered we chilled out Sunday, did a touch more shopping and headed to the airport earlier than planned. Which was good because of TRAFFIC.

And that, is enough for today. If you're still reading. I'm going to bed!


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