Saturday, April 14, 2007

Welcome to the Monkey House

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A. / Knitty Winter 2006
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Indian Summer
Modifications: None, except used 2.25 instead of 2.5 needles

These were fun and quick to knit. I never have the urge to knit the same thing twice, but I am already thinking of knitting another pair! I searched for awhile to find the yarn I wanted to use. I wanted a subtle varigation that would show off the pattern. I looked online then realized I had what I wanted in my stash all along.

After blocking, I took my Monkeys out to play shuffleboard.

These are some of the oldest courts at the club. I think they were installed around 1928. They're terrazzo (the other 50 courts are concrete). In their present condition the terrazzo courts are unplayable (terrazzo courts are very difficult to maintain). But they sure are purty.

Here's an eye-candy photo of my little monkeys (one of their more serious-looking poses for the camera). Jackson is in the back, Sasha in the middle, Betty in the front. One of Sasha's nicknames is Monkey (aka Sasha Monkey). She was six months old when I adopted her. She had been a stray for who knows how long so bringing her home was a little like bringing home a baby raccoon (she refused to eat from a bowl for a couple weeks!). She earned her Monkey nickname shortly after I adopted her. She decided she wanted to sit on my friend's lap so she climbed up by scaling his legs. She put her right paws on one leg, left paws on the other, and shimmied right up like a little spider monkey.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.

I never met him, but I always felt a connection to my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut. When I was growing up I was so grateful for his novels. He spoke at my high school my sophomore year. I remember he spoke about his fear of nuclear war and blasted Indianapolis for no longer being the progressive, creative city it once was (he was talking about a looong time ago). For a 15 year old kid that was really cool stuff. After I saw him speak I quickly read every novel he wrote. Cat's Cradle was the first. Slaughterhouse-Five is still my favorite. His work did more to help me through my teen angst phase than any chick lit novel ever could. Just knowing that someone like him could come from my conservative hometown was comforting.

His entire family had a very indirect influence on my life (but an influence nonetheless). My two favorite buildings in Indianapolis were designed by his grandfather. Every time I go home I visit them. The strong connection I have to them is the reason why I became such a historic preservation nerd. (To know me in person is to know that I'm always upset about an old building being demolished - I can go on and on about the sense of place and people's connections to buildings and spaces. Warning: never get me drunk because that is my number one tipsy topic)

I went to college here.

When I was a kid, I took theater classes here.

It is the Atheneaum, orginally named Das Deutsche Haus. Every Saturday after class my friends and I would explore every inch of this building. There are three stages in the building. I can get from the Rathskeller stage to the rafters above the main stage (four floors) via the hidden stairs.

Do you have a special connection to a building, place, or even a person you've never met?

I'll always be grateful to Kurt Vonnegut. He gave so many gifts to the world. He will be missed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Extra! Extra! Guy in knitting t-shirt spotted in local newspaper

Read all about it! I don't know how long this will be on the home page of The St. Petersburg Times today, but I thought this was too good not to share. I of course didn't read the article (he's a con man or something) but instead just locked in on the photo. Here's the link. It's next to Hot Topic. If the photo is gone by the time you see this, here it is:

I love it when men aren't afraid to show they love to knit. But why does he have to be a con artist?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Knitting with others

Last Saturday I once again went over to Tampa to meet up with some fellow Rockin' Sock Club members. This time it was Phoebe, Alyson and myself. Have you ever had one of those great afternoons where you meet up to knit and talk talk talk and all the sudden it's four hours later and oh my gosh one of you has a rather long drive home? That's the kind of afternoon it was. Phoebe worked on a beautiful sock using Black Bunny Fiber. Both times I've knitted with her I've come back home with a long list of indy dyers to try. Alyson worked on her Bellocq stockings (Stitch Diva). They are gorgeous, gorgeous! Be sure to visit her blog and check them out. If you get the urge to make them yourself, she's even started a KAL.

Alyson mentioned this on her blog, too, but one of my favorite moments was when we were approached by an elderly woman with what I think was a heavy German accent. She said she used to love to watch her mother (or grandmother, crap I forget) knit when she was little. She thanked us (thanked us!) for bringing back such good memories. I wanted her to pull up a chair so I could ask her tons of nosy questions about her (grand)mother, where she was from, if her (grand)mother taught her to knit... Instead I just smiled and thanked her. For some reason I was curious why she didn't mention if she knitted. Why? Why did no one teach her?! I try to keep a lid on my nosy side; I love people's stories, even if I can't remember the specifics.

I've been working on some Monkeys, but I'm not going to show you yet. I'll be done in a day or two so I'll take photos then. In the meantime, let me try to distract you from the lack of knitting photos with some viney goodness in my yard.

Last year I decided to go native in my yard. I moved all my non-native plants to the backyard so at least my front yard is 100% native (Except the grass, which takes up 80% of my yard. I suppose it's more accurate to say that my yard is 20% native). The plan is to replace any dying non-native plants in the backyard with native ones so eventually my backyard will be native, too. There are a few non-native plants I may not have the heart to get rid of. My jasmine, in bloom now and smelling beautiful, is two years old and finally draping itself over the fence: When I open the back door I'm greeted with a whiff of jasmine!

In the front yard, I opted for some Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata). Planted last year, it's starting to get some good blooms. One of the misconceptions is that Florida native plants aren't as attractive as the popular plants. I think the Cross Vine is beautiful:

Today was a very odd day in Florida. Cold and rainy. I loved the cold. My yard loved the rain. Others at the house weren't as thrilled.