29 September 2007

fall warmth

The weather seems to have officially turned towards the fall-ish side of things (now that I say that it will of course get really hot tommorrow). I really love fall. The weather is delicious, you start all kinds of new things (like school), and you get to wear things made out of wool. I've clearly been thinking about warmth lately in my knitting.

Julia gave me a gift certificate to Purl (the most dangerous yarn shop ever) for my birthday. They had a wall of cashmere. I couldn't resist. Luckily the price of one hank of cashmere was less than the gift certificate! Unfortunately one hank of cashmere doesn't go very far.

Ta-da! A cowl is the perfect solution. You get the coziness of a cashmere turtleneck with any shirt you wear! There is a camisole that goes with it that I may or may not knit with the rest of the cashmere.

Next is my thermal sweater which may be my most exciting big project ever. It is knit on very small needles so it will be more like the weight of a store bought sweater and will be wearable in fall and spring.

It is also grape juice colored and I own nothing else that color. Unfortunately small needles = lots of knitting, so who knows if I will actually be able to wear it this fall OR spring.

It is feeling so cozy out that I have even embarked upon a little christmas knitting. Imagine my surprise last night when I began a secret little project to discover that it was also a therma-ish stitch, almost identical to my sweater? Alas, no pictures of it until Christmas time. These are also for christmas but I won't say for who (though I'm fairly confident the person in question does not read the blog)

They are fabulous. And lacey. And cozy even though there is no wool whatsoever in them. It is the softest cotton in the whole world. Surprising, because the yarn didn't feel as yummy as I was knitting it as it did once it was knit.

All of these cozy prospects are distracting me from the more difficult aspects of my fall; getting two cavities filled, training 12 four year olds how to be in the classroom (and reminding the 7 five year olds), and working 10-12 hours a day but still not getting everything done.

Happy Fall!

24 September 2007

a trio of productivity

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with the start of school. 10 to 12 hour days don't leave a lot of time for anything else. Except, apparantly, knitting. Unlike blogging, cleaning, sleeping, and playing with a parrot knitting is happily portable and is thus happening a lot more often than any of the other above tasks.

Gloves, done! They are lovely and eagerly anticipating a downturn in the temperature.

Who knew that pink-ish goes with orange-ish......

Half of a pair of socks........

And a cashmere cowl............

which was going to be a cashmere hat until I wore the skein around my neck for 8 hours and decided it needed to be a knit object to hang around my neck.

Still to come, the beginning of a thermal sweater...

23 September 2007

a lovely day....

Where has this month gone? I can't believe it has been 20 days since I have blogged. Whew, teaching is exhausting. We made up for our sheer exhaustion by having a marvelously lovely fall day on Saturday.

We started by heading off to the Museum of Natural History to see the Mythic Creatures exhibit. Incredible, did you know that people believed in cyclops because they found elephant relative bones and rearranged them the wrong way? It is incredible how you can make elephant bones look like a scary huge human-ish thing. It also explained myths about mermaids (manatees), unicorns (narwhals), dragons (dinosaurs), sasquatch (enormous extinct gorillas), sea serpents (schools of dolphins jumping above water), among other things.

While we were waiting for our admission time we strolled through the dinosaur rooms. Dinosaurs were big and scary.

I'm very glad that I will never meet them.

I also had a sad ephiphany that the reason I think Gris-Gris is very dinosaur like is probably because Stephen Spielberg made his Jurassic Park dinosaurs very bird like. Movies do scary things to my understanding of reality.

Apparantly even Jurassic turtles were scary.

Who knew they could swim in the air?

Next we went for a safari through the wilds of central park. We ate freeze dried ice cream. yum.

It never fails to amaze me how you can be in the middle of Manhattan and then make it just disappear. Every time I'm in the middle of the park I begin to think about what a great place it would be to camp. Then I remember about the big city. And the homeless people who live in the park (who I'm sure are perfectly lovely people, their current circumstances just give them a more "basic needs" approach to life than I have, and I would rather not be stuck in the dark woods with them. In a tent.)

We emerged from the wilderness at the Hans Christian Anderson pond. This place always makes me think of Stuart Little because this is where he took his epic ride on a boat. It makes me very excited to see people sailing boats here because I like to imagine a little mouse on them.

Apparantly childhood fiction also does strange things to my understanding of reality.

Then we visited Alice nearby and her retinue of crazy people. I like the mouse in a teapot. Twinkle Twinkle little bat......

After a lovely knitting ride on a subway we walked home. We happened upon the farmer's market down the street from our apartment and the lovely rainbow of heirloom tomatoes.

I'm obsessed with tasting every different kind. Did you know that tomatoes could taste like strawberries or pineapple? Incredible.

03 September 2007

a crocodile for my mother

My mother really wanted my pictures from the crocodile pond so, ta-da here they are!

For those of you who weren't there, the crocodile pond is a pond in Northern Ghana where there are, gasp, many crocodiles! What is hilarious about the pond is that the crocodiles are tame. You buy some chickens, feed the crocodiles and then they let you pick up their tail or....if you get the really big crocodile to come out....lay on its back.

What is surprising about crocodiles is how fast they move to eat chickens (well guinea fowl really) and then how they freeze and look pretty dead. It is shocking really.

My mom with the crocodile:

Me with the crocodile:

Dad with the crocodile:

James with the crocodile:

Emmanuel with the crocodile:

Riveting no? Oooo the danger...............

a weekend for the people

What better way to celebrate the hard working people of america than to go to Coney Island? Perhaps eating cotton candy and playing skee ball?

So the recent tragedy of my life is that Astroland at Coney Island may be turned into condos. They can't tear down the best part, the Cyclone, which is the oldest wooden rollercoaster in the country. The entire thing shakes when the cars go over the tracks, its terrifying to watch. But it is really great to ride, perhaps my favorite roller coaster ever. I figure if they can keep it running for 100+ years it can't be that unsafe.

Today is Astroland's expiration date (though the city may swoop in to save it) so just in case James and I went. We rode the most hilariously antiquated "haunted house" ride in the world. Really, I laughed the whole way through. I think people were more scared by silly crap a long time ago.

Maybe the good people of Astroland think there is nothing more American than turning amusing amusement parks into condos and shopping malls. That seems to be the new millenial American spirit.

The sock enjoyed the ride to and from Coney Island (approximately 30 minutes each way = a lot of knitting)

Then for labor day dinner we decided to eat the food of the people.

What could be more American than sloppy joes? OK perhaps the tofu and organic ingredients detract a bit. But many people think communists aren't very American either and, lets face it, labor day is essentially a communist holiday. Do communists like tofu?

We paired it with the junk food of the people--potato chips and the drink of the people...beer.

OK its german beer. But the bottle cap had an american flag on it which made a nice hat for the sloppy joe. It really improved the All-American spirit of the meal. Why is there an American flag on a german beer? Cuz English is kinda like German?

Gris-gris joined in the All-American fun. She likes All-American tofu sloppy joes.

And she is very American. Did you see her red tail, her white feathers? Salt of the earth really, since salt is one of her favorite food groups, followed only by carbs. She can also sing Dueling Banjos and her parents were immigrants.

02 September 2007

impediments to blogging

I seem to be encountering several impediments to updating my blog of late. A few for your enjoyment:

1. Employment. I forgot what a time suck work is. Somehow I have managed to spend 12 hours a day for the past week and a half setting up my room. It is beautiful and all ready for Wednesday. However, it does not leave me with much time to do anything else.

2. Christmas socks--I am knitting socks as a present and they are going to kill me. I think they plot while I am asleep. I tried starting them in Ghana but I had brought the wrong needles (despite the time sent knitting 2 swatches before leaving so I could determine what the right needle size would be). Upon returning I tried a slightly smaller size. Still too big. So I went smaller. Now they are the right size but then the pattern went on strike and decided not to line up properly so that I had to rip them back twice. The frustration encountered during all of this occupied a great deal of real estate in my brain so that there was not much space for blogging.

3. Camera--The digital camera we have at school is awful. It takes blurry pictures of block buildings and thus takes extremely crappy pictures of moving chidlren. So I take my camera to school. It is now a perfect school camera as it is being largely held together by a rubber band. It still takes good pictures. Unfortunately I have major issues remembering to bring all the necessary items to and from school (lunch, waterbottle, random supplies, and now--camera). Thus, everytime I think about a really great picture that inspires me to write something on the blog I realize my camera is at school. James' digital camera is pre-millenial (this one that is) and thus is larger than most video cameras now (to give you an idea, it takes pictures on disks--which means the disks fit inside the camera) and is also incompatible with my computer. I could use his computer but the camera also makes me angry because it takes yucky pictures inside at night.

whew. Soon I will get it together and have camera, time, and subject matter all in one place. Coming up: pictures of classroom, socks, and more.