Category Archives: NYC

Paris, pt. 1

Today Joey is in Paris. I always assumed that after having the opportunity to travel to some of these places myself, I’d be less jealous the next time he went without me. Apparently that is not the case and I find myself daydreaming of Paris. As my thoughts today are on this beautiful and still-magical seeming city, I thought I’d share my experience in Paris.

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We traveled overnight from Amsterdam to Paris on the tour bus. I awoke in my bunk to a sliver of light coming in through the curtain and the sound of cars driving and honking. I peeked out the window and was eye level with a piece by the street artist, Space Invader on the side of a building. It momentarily brought me back to Brooklyn, where I would walk past another of his pieces on an almost daily basis. I woke Joey and we decided to stretch our legs and find out where the showers were.
It turned out we were parked outside the venue the band would be playing that evening and our tour manager was sorting out where everyone could get cleaned up, so Joey and I decided to take a stroll to find some coffee.
We didn’t have to walk very far before we found a patisserie and grabbed an espresso each, a slice of quiche, and an eclair to share. (When in Paris, right?)

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After breakfast and determining it would be a few more hours before our hotel room would be ready, we decided to take another little stroll around the area. It was during this walk that I discovered that Paris is much more hilly than Texas. We walked up and down cobblestone streets, past brick walls with moss growing along the cracks in the walls and past some of the most charming little apartments and I was already picturing what it would be like to live there. It was very windy and kept threatening to rain- we actually did get caught in the tiniest of cloudbursts before we headed back to the venue for sound check.

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We had about an hour before dinner and I really wanted to see Sacré-Cœur, so we hopped on the metro towards Anvers. When we hopped off, we had lost our sense of direction and weren’t sure which direction to walk. We stopped at this corner flower shop and asked the kind old man “which way to Sacré-Cœur?” He did not speak English and I don’t speak French, so I just repeated “Sacré-Cœur?” in a questioning tone. He still didn’t quite understand what I was asking for, but fortunately a man standing nearby spoke English and translated for us. When he told the old man we were looking for Sacré-Cœur, the old man’s face brightened and said “oh, Sacré-Cœur” in the most beautiful French and proceeded to tell is to take the metro to Anvers. Grateful for the assistance and embarrassed that my Texas-accented attempt at pronouncing Sacré-Cœur sounded not even remotely recognizable to this kind man, we turned to go. I was still so confused. We just got off the metro at Anvers, so why would he be telling us to get back on? We walked a couple more blocks, thinking that like the NYC subway sometimes each stop has multiple entrances and exits, perhaps we exited at the wrong sortie. We came upon the next metro entrance and quickly realized we had gotten off at Avron, not Anvers. Silly Americans! We arrived at Anvers not too long afterwards and arrived at the steps to Sacré-Cœur just as the sun was setting.

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The show that night was a crowded and sweaty affair. The venue was way too small to hold the crowd that gathered and the air was thick with the heat and humidity from all those people crowded into a small room. The band sounded excellent and I spent part of the time watching from the small sound booth and then squeezing my way backstage to the tiniest upstairs green room with the most insane death-trap staircase/ladder that I’m not soon to forget. After the show, I could hear everyone milling about just outside the venue as cool crisp air wafted in the windows, a welcome refresher after the crowded show.

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Insta April

Insta april

This April, Joey and I were up to our usual escapades and getting out to enjoy the pretty spring weather a little more. I bought some pretty yarn for a new knitting project, enjoyed some wine on a Friday afternoon at work, and spent some good times with good friends at our favorite bar. We spent a weekend at the Ranch and met my parents’ sweet new cow dog, Camo, and had a fabulously fun time at a Louisiana-style crawfish boil with the band. My friend Felicia and I did a woodsy photoshoot for my new knitting pattern and we came across a snake while trying to get a good shot. I started up my new knitting project while sitting at Redwood Studios and listening to some really great violin being recorded for one of Joey’s new projects. We have had plenty of new bunny sightings in our back yard and one time Henry even sat next to me, the two of us spying on them together. Joey invented a delicious new apple flavored New York Whiskey cocktail for the bar that I named The Big Apple Sour, and I got to listen to a sneak preview of the new Midlake album that is coming out later this year. I marveled at the prettiness of brown speckled eggs in my new egg tray, and had an epic fail when I attempted to bake my own pizza dough. Joey bought me a pretty gardenia plant to cheer me up after the pizza incident, and we spent many an afternoon on the tennis courts having a blast and enjoying each other’s company. And as always, love was all around us.

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Insta-January

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January was a bit of a whirlwind for me. Knit-wise, I started off by photographing and releasing my hat pattern, Borlänge, and I made some nice progress on a few upcoming designs. Travel-wise, there was a super quick weekend trip to Texas Hill Country to visit with some dear friends and Joey took a weeklong music trip to NYC during the coldest week ever. In our downtime, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner party with good friends that ended with lots of laughs and even a bit of singing and dancing. There was also a nice long Saturday afternoon spent at Redwood studio: me knitting, Joey working on guitar parts for a friend’s record, and Henry lounging around on the cozy shag rug. Unfortunately, January ended on a sad note with the loss of our sweet, sweet Daisy and my parents’ gentle dog Fly. We’ve all been a bit broken hearted this week as we had to unexpectedly say goodbye to these wonderful dogs that brought so much love and happiness to our lives. But as Elizabeth Zimmerman says, “properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit, either.”

and I’ve got some knitting to do….

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New Pattern: Bushwick Beanie

The Bushwick Beanie is an easy to knit cabled hat that can be knitted as a classic-fitting beanie or with a bit of Brooklyn-inspired slouch.

Both versions knit up quickly with bulky weight yarn (110 yards for the classic version or 130 yards for the slouchy version) on size US 10 ½ (6.5 mm) double pointed needles (or appropriate needle size to obtain gauge at 3.75 stiches per inch). The pattern includes charted and line-by-line instructions for each version and can be purchased via Ravelry by clicking the link below.

Buy it Now  or View Pattern Page on Ravelry

I knit the original slouchy version about a year ago when Joey and I were living in Bushwick and he needed a warm hat. Since then, it has traveled with him on tour and kept him warm in NYC, Texas, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Ireland, England and Portugal. When a hat sees that kind of mileage, sometimes you need a backup (or two!) and so I decided to knit another one for him with a more classic look and fit.

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The Fiver

Well hug your hanks and snuggle your skeins because I have a surprise finished knit to show you!  May I present The Fiver:

When it comes to a sweater that was five years in the making, all I can say is that this baby has some stories.  I cast on back in March of 2007,  thinking it seemed like a million stitches since it was also my first time working a big project with fingering weight yarn.  I knitted slowly through the bottom portion of the sweater over the next few months, but eventually got bored with it and put it aside for newer, easier-to-finish projects.  When we moved to NYC that next summer, it was boxed up with my yarn and made the journey with us.

I pulled it out of that box just after Christmas 2008, at a time when all I wanted to do was knit on something, but I couldn’t afford to buy yarn for new projects.  It was our first winter in New York, and it was a cold one.  I remember sitting next to a space heater with Henry, knitting away at the sleeves, wondering if I would ever finish it.

I did finish the sleeves that winter, but I was never happy with my attempts at seaming and kept ripping it out.  The sweater and sleeves went back into a box and were ignored for many more months.  Again, they were boxed up with my yarn and made the journey with us back to Texas last fall.

I was chatting with a fellow knitter one day at work and happened to mention this project that  I was always agonizing over in the back of my mind, that sweater that was completely finished except for a few buttons and some shoulder seaming and she just looked at me and said “I’ll seam it for you.”  And sure enough, she did.  And just like that, this sweater that I had put so many stitches, so many hours of my life into was finished.

I used to be more of a product knitter than a process knitter, but it seems the tides are turning.  I really like the idea of looking at a knitted piece that took a long time to complete and remembering all the moments of my life that have been knitted into every stitch.

Full Circle

The first time I went to the NY Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck was after Joey and I first moved to NYC from Texas over three years ago. We had just made this momentous life change; we had let go of everything that kept us grounded and safe so we could see where life would take us. That day turned out to be so much more than a trip to see some sheep and buy some yarn; the drive up was one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve ever had as we listened to music, experienced the changing fall leaves and enjoyed each other’s company. It was one of those iconic days where everything comes together- the sights, the sounds, the smells- and after it’s all over and done with you know that you just experienced a magical day that you will remember forever.

In the years between that trip and now, as October rolled in bringing fall winds and changing leaves, we would try to plan another trip but life would get in the way. “Next year,” we’d say, knowing that it was a trip that we both really wanted to take again. This year as October rolled in, we found ourselves again with life getting in the way. Only this time it’s because we’re on the precipice of another big change; we’re moving back to Texas to follow an opportunity that’s presented itself and we couldn’t be happier. But we also knew that this year would be our last chance to recreate that magical trip.

So it was no surprise to me that this past weekend I found myself getting chills as we drove upstate on those small winding highways once again, as I watched fiery orange and yellow leaves let go of their stable trees and start blowing about in the strong winds, unsure of where they would finally land. And I was left with was a sense of completion, a sense that we’ve come full circle with what we came here to do. The path that we knew we had to follow is finally leading us back home, only now we’re wiser and changed for the better from the journey.

Sunday Brunch

Joey and I have opposite work schedules and lately he’s been traveling a lot so when the rare half-day together opens up, we try to take full advantage of it.  Today we went to brunch and just walked around the city hand in hand, enjoying the sights.

Perseverance

I’ve almost reached the halfway mark on the Guernsey Wrap I’m knitting.  I’ve been ignoring it a little lately… something about the month of February in NYC just gets to you, ya know?

But now that March has rolled around, bringing the promise of a little more sunlight each day, I think I might have a finished wrap just in time for that not-quite warm enough to go completely without a top layer, but warm enough to shed the coat weather.  Perfect weather for a wrap like this one, a reminder that the warmth and sunshine of spring are just around the corner.

An Apple a Day

I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold windy Sunday afternoon than baking and knitting.

I made apple crisp last weekend and it was very very good.  The granny smiths made it just a little tart, so I’m making another batch this weekend using gala apples.

For a full hour while it bakes, the air is warm and scented with a delicious cinnamon smell.  Its a perfect time to sit and knit.

 

And after that, you get to enjoy a wonderful warm treat.

Man-finity Cowl

A few weeks ago when it was a blustery 20-something degrees out, Joey started layering up to take Henry out for a walk and he happened to borrow my Infinity Cowl.  I asked him if he would wear one if I knit him his own, and he said he would.  When someone practically begs you to knit them something, how can you resist?

 

I made this one slightly wider than the original by provisionally casting on 44 stitches.  I knit in the round until the entire thing measured 56 inches in length and then grafted the ends together.  I used KnitPicks Wool of the Andes bulky on size US 15 DPNs.

The result is warm and cozy.  Just what he asked for.

 

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