Monday, December 26, 2011

Never, Never, Never....

screw with your blog template without saving the original one. I was just playing, thinking it would be fun to make a change or two for 2012 and then I couldn't revert back to the original. WooWho! New blog look! I love it! Actually, I have no choice so yay, I love it. ;-) It's a work in progress, so keep an eye out for changes.

I hope you had a great holiday season! Wishing you all a wonderful 2012!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Updates & Holiday Greetings!

Good grief! I had no idea anyone was still reading my blog! Hey Krystal and Lisa! First off, Happy Holidays one and all from the beautiful, Florida coast! If you're on my Christmas card list, read the last sentence, it's all you're getting this year!

To start, I hate when people say they're "busy" but this time I have to concede, I'm busy! The holidays are coming and I'm not even remotely prepared. I've just moved to a new city and don't even know where the grocery store is or where to shop for gifts. Yikes!

I'm pretty sure the tree is stuffed in the laundry room but the ornaments and trimmings are who knows where! Today, I finally rid myself of the last of the boxes and am fairly certain that the major furniture pieces are in their final locations. It may seem like a simple task to put the boxes out with the trash but when you live on the 8th floor, all logistics and ease are out the window. Up and down, up and down, it's quite a process! I love the space. It's brand, spankin' new. No one has ever taken a shower here, heated up a Lean Cuisine in the microwave or sat on the balcony and enjoyed the inter coastal water views. I love it!

Needless to say, knitting has been scarce. Beau, my sock machine is in storage at a friend's house and will be returned next weekend. I can't wait. I unpacked the yarn and set up the den as a craft studio/office. Everything fit and my indestructible, craft table (that I thought would have to go to Goodwill) fit in the space with no more than a half inch of room to spare! Is that fate or what?

So stick with me folks and soon enough, I'll be posting socks, shawls and the miscellaneous dribble of my life.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Threesome on a Sunday Afternoon...

I've had the most pleasant and relaxing day. I'm currently holed up in a hotel for two weeks before I move into my new place. Yesterday, I spent the day wandering around the beach, something I rarely do, surprisingly so for someone who lives in Florida. Today, I had no interest in sunshine. I woke up at 8AM and couldn't fall back to sleep. I opened the computer and turned to Netflix for a little entertainment over coffee. I knew a film or two was in order as I've watched more television this week than I have in a year! I discovered there's a reason I haven't had television for the past year, it's so dumb and that's sort of generous. Those of you who watch all these ridiculous realty shows, please explain the attraction.

Anyway, around 2PM, I stepped out for lunch and when I got back to the room, I found a film that I loved when it first premiered. Before Sunrise with Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply, I always had a crush on Ethan until the whole nanny incident so I decided to watch it again. I had no idea that they made a sequel called before Before Sunset (original huh?) with the same cast. It was a great sequel and I never like sequels. Both films are all talk, talk, talk and they're smart, funny, sarcastic, sexy, emotional and romantically edgy but still sappy. I love that crap. The sequel screenplay is just as clever as the first one in a 30-something way vs the original 20-something vibe. You should watch it. It's on instant view, there's no risk!

On the knitting front, not much has been going on. Work and finding a place have been all consuming. By the time I get some "me time" at the end of the day, I have just about enough energy to wash my face before heading to bed. I made the huge mistake of bringing only one project with me -- the Stephen West shawl. Great project, just got to the interesting part, counting is now involved and following a pattern, albeit simple, is too taxing for my overworked brain so it's been left collecting dust on the nightstand. And I miss Beauregard. He's all packed up and in storage with the rest of my creature comforts!

And that's knitting content, sort of. More to come when I'm back in my own place and start discovering my new city!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Holding a Torch & So Late to the Party!

Hey, I'm back and I.AM.KNITGUY! Yeah, I still like saying it. I have been busy, life is good, even if ever-changing. I continue to work on my toe closures with some success but not enough to actually post. Instead, I've been working my fingers to the bone on my Stephen West shawl. I'm finally into the lace portion and ready to start the second repeat. Photos will come shortly.

This weekend (yes, my weekend this week was Wed/Thur) was intended to be a knit-fest. If you didn't know, I do not have cable television. Remember a few years ago, the cable companies started telling us that we'd need a box to continue to receive digital cable sometime in 2011? Yeah, that finally arrived in South Florida and I never got a box so don't ask me anything about current television, not that I ever watched much popular television anyway. Instead of the knit-fest, I discovered that the new season of Torchwood finally arrived on Netflix! I love Doctor Who and moreso, Torchwood. Maybe I have the hots for John Barrowman or Gareth David-Lloyd. Well, yes, I do have the hots for John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd but it's so much more! Anyway, the new season is finally on Netflix. This morning, I thought, hey, I should watch an episode. Fast forward to midnight and I've completed the entire season. What am I going to to do now? I know I shouldn't have been such a glutton but I just couldn't resist.

So if you are part of the modern world and haven't been watching Torchwood on cable, head over to Netflix and take it for a spin. It's darker than previous seasons but a much bigger story than the former Torchwood seasons when it was all .... find the aliens, open the rift, don't open the rift, save the world storylines!

Anyone know when the next season starts? Please tell me there's another season!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years...

You may never visit but you'll never forget. Find out more about the 9/11 Memorial and Museum here

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

Well, it's all done. In the end, IamKnitGuy won out. There's something about it that I really like, especially when I say it in my biggest, booming voice ... I_A.M_K.N.I.T_G.U.Y (a la The Wizard of Oz)! I considered Garret's TheRealKnitGuy (thanks Garret!) but it was just a little too long and not universally available. I doubt there will be any drastic changes here at Hooked on the Needle except that we're heading into a major CSM period. There's been little hand knitting lately but sock production is definitely in full swing and hand knitting is not entirely abandoned. A Stephen West design has recently made it out of the "what happened to that project" pile! ;-)

In a few weeks, I'll be meeting a friend to finally learn/see kitchener stitch from waste yarn (as is used for CSM socks) in person! Once that hurdle is completed, the adventure will really begin. Stay tuned for exciting updates and potentially, lots of 'em!!!
knitguyla signing off.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An Afternoon with Beauregard

Edit 9:30PM: to replace photo as we have two socks now; meaning a pair!
Original Text 5:30PM: So far only one sock! It's raining in Florida, big surprise, so I couldn't get a true color shot of this sock. I started today. Yarn: Three Irish Girls, Adorn Sock in colorway Estuary. I kinda think this yarn is heavier than a classic sock yarn. It worked Beauregard hard but in the end, I really like it! I'm especially partial to the 5x1 mock-rib. I think it's a really smart look and breaks up the color pools nicely! Pretty cool, considering it was completed in two short episodes of Stargate SG1, my latest Netflix addiction!

On a separate subject, it's time for a change. I want to change my username. I really want to keep knitguy but most variations of knitguy are already taken. Since I'm not from Los Angeles or Louisiana", something has to give!


Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Oh, and toes soon, I promise!

Thanks everyone!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

If you hold out until the's funny!

Can't post, busy making socks. Enjoy the video in the meantime!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Drive by Posting....

Edit: I thought the photo from earlier today of my one sock looked sort of lonely so I decided to pop back on and update the photo! Yes, we have a pair! Outstanding if I do say so myself!

Had to show you the latest. I really like the mock rib and I love the colors of this yarn. It's courtesy of the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat and Scout's Swag. I won it in the giveaway. This girl makes some nice yarn, I tell ya! I love the mock rib so much more than the stockinette, it's so much more ... finished! That's it, I have to try to make the other one before I forget how I did it! Yes, I know, toes are still evading me but I'll figure it out with Harry's help later this month!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Since someone asked...

Thank you Krystal and here's the skinny for all of you! I drove all the way to Texas for the CSMSA. What is the CSMSA, you ask? I won't hold you in suspense a moment longer. I know you're all sitting on the edge of your seats.

It's the Circular Sock Machine Society of America. Beauregard and I took a road trip for the CSMSA. Beau is my Legare 400 Circular Sock Machine. And yes, he had to have a proper Southern name, we finally got it going in Texas after all! I had such a great time learning the basics of this machine. I thought I knew a little bit about it, I absolutely did not.

Before the conference, all I could do was knit a tube, very boring, very little like a sock. I couldn't make a heel, hang a hem, selvedge edge or even begin to use the ribber (a component of these machines that is more scary than learning to purl for the first time). Now I've got your attention!

At the conference, I learned all of them and more. Mary, the conference chair promised me I'd make heels and I certainly did. I took classes on hanging hems, heels, yoga socks, CSM basics, care, cleaning and made tons of purchases. I bought yarn, new needles, yarn, new pick tool, yarn. Well, you get the idea.

I've driven cross country a few times now but it's nothing like a good road trip through the South. This New Yorker loves this country. I could listen to southern folk talk all day. And the men, I had no idea but that's another story.

I've been home a few weeks but remiss in posting because I couldn't post until I mastered the machine, beaten the beast, conquered the ... well, knit a sock on the bloody thing. Tonight I present my inaugural socks (yes, toes still need to be kitchenered) the inaugural socks Beauregard and I made together! I'm over the moon and they only took about 2 hours, not counting the 11 month learning curve! ;-)

Monday, June 27, 2011

All you get for now...

leave Florida, check.

drive through Alabama, check.

continue to Mississippi, check.

zip through Louisiana, check.

arrive in Texas, check.

have an amazing few days in Texas, check. check.

leave Texas, 'sad', check.

zip through Louisiana, check.

continue to Mississippi, check.

drive through Alabama, check.

arrive home in Florida, check.

I'm exhausted but so much more to come and it's knitting related!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Yes, I'm still here, thanks for the emails/Rav mail! I've been a bit blue since my holiday. I'm missing the sights and sounds of the trip as well as new and old friends met on my journey. Not surprisingly, I was inspired to blog today because of food. Summer (and oh yeah, it's fully-achieved Summer here in Florida) always reminds me of my first, amazing crab salad enjoyed long ago; the savory fish, crisp celery and flavors of tarragon & chives. I knew I had to make it today but wasn't exactly sure what to have with it. As fate would have it, Giada DeLaurentiis cooked these awesome little corn cakes with smoked mozzarella and chives on her show today. The damn things had all sorts of trouble staying in one piece but regardless, they were yummy right from the grill. They look burned in the photo but trust me, they were not! Make them, you won't regret it!

Last week, I organized the stash and dare I say it to you lot, I actually tossed some yarn in the trash. It was mostly cheap, crappy stuff and a bunch of those tiny, sample skeins that I never know what the hell to do with. What's left is some lovely stuff and surprisingly, sock yarn plays a much larger role in my stash than I ever expected. I also have some incredible silk blend roving so if anyone is so inclined to spin it for me, please raise your hand! My dream of being a spinner has long passed but I didn't have the heart to ditch this stuff especially since I bought it on my first trip to Rhinebeck! Click to biggie the photo, it's gorgeous stuff.

I'm knitting a small, lace project and enjoying it...mostly because I had to frog it the other night and actually got the needle back into the stitches. It's patterned on both sides, no all knit or purl row and for me to get the needle back into it was less likely than the recently, expected rapture! I was so proud and then so pissed when I realized I needed to actually frog two additional rows. Nightmare! It's sitting next to me now, taunting me but so far I've been able to resist it's song. ;-)

Otherwise, I've been swimming away and trying not to kill myself from either exposure to the sun or the carcinogenic ingredients in sunscreen that is slathered on my pasty complexion day and night! The pool is already like bath water and I'm, as always, dreaming of snow. And it's only the beginning of June, that rapture thing is definitely a no-go, right?

Let's see, what else is there to catch up on...

I huddled up all the WIPs and laid them out. Two were immediately frogged, what was I thinking even starting them. The remaining 9 projects were placed in order of like/importance. I have promised myself to work through them for the remainder of 2011. As soon as I made this promise to myself, I fell in love with a crochet technique and ran out to buy yarn for a new project. I didn't say I expected success with this plan. As it turns out, I don't crochet well enough for this project so for the time being, the yarn is going back. And we're back on track!

I suppose what all this is leading up to is there should be some finished projects in the near future! What's everyone making these days?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

European Holiday

Okay, it seems that there are still a few of you out there so I'll spill the beans. If you couldn't tell from my less than subtle, last post, I've been away. I spent 11 glorious days in Wales, London and Paris and had the time of my life! Several months ago, I decided to attend the inaugural UK Men's Knitting Retreat in Wales. It was 4 amazing days out in the country. As you know, I've attended both the Spring East Coast and Fall West Coast Men's Knitting Retreats in the U.S. and I loved both of them but there's something about the Welsh countryside that makes everything better. Alastair, our host, threw one hell of a gala - great food, amazing venue and a lovely, eclectic group of men to share a weekend. We blended as a cohesive group almost immediately. Thanks again Al, best to Andy!

I arrived in Wales to be greeted by Jack who hosted a quick tour of Cardiff. I loved it. It was rich in history that we just don't have in the U.S. This sculpture sits on Cardiff Bay and is symbolic of all the sailors/boats that have been lost at sea. Both sides here for you. It's so cool!

In the end though, it's always food that's key to travel. I loved Welsh cakes and I had my first, right here. Yummy little delicacies that I couldn't get enough of!

As you may already know from previous posts, I grew up in the city but I've always been fascinated by farm life & farm animals and our B&B/retreat locale was just that. This is "31", he liked me immediately. It's like I'm Dr. Doolittle with these amazing creatures. He ate grass out of my hand, I almost cried!

As the retreat continued, we visited Colinette Yarns and got to tour their dye studio. It was great and I got this cool yarn made with black Welsh wool that is destined for something warm and wonderful. It was fascinating to see their yarn process even though I was never really fond of their "fun fur" approach. The whole tour was more than I expected. Hey, hey, what happens at the retreat, stays at the retreat so you bitches can keep your mouths shut! LOL.

On the last day, we visited an alpaca farm. A little more Dr. Doolittle action and we were in the car and heading to London. Thanks Kerry for the lift. It was great having time with you, Martin and Bengt! By the way, Martin is hysterical, more fun than I ever imagined (thanks for the recommendation on NBS, it was great) and Bengt is the CSM genius I expected! Just for you guys...."enter roundabout, two hundred yards! I'm still having nightmares with that chick's voice in my head!"

Once I arrived in London, the first order of business was the British Library. I hopped on the #10 coach (that's British for bus) and made the pilgrimage trip to see Jane Austen's writing desk. It's in a really dark room where they do not permit flash photography and to make matters worse, it's behind glass. I sat in the dark room and read bits of Pride & Prejudice in an attempt to conjure Jane's spirit inside me.

I was so quieted by the experience that I headed out for traditional high tea -- scones, clotted cream, finger sandwiches and chocolatey, tasty treats. The little 3-tiered, silver tray in the most stately room I could find was the perfect match for my mood. I was stuffed, a precursor for the entire trip.

I walked to Buckingham Palace but missed the changing of the guards, Too busy enjoying the scenery and pasty people. oops.

I did get to see the guards perform their little, walkabout that happens on the hour or so but I felt bad for this guy. He marched with aplomb and right in sync with the other guy but somehow he didn't exactly hit his mark.

In a flash, I was on the EuroStar heading for Paris. Sorry but it's Amtrak with an accent. For the price, I was expecting the Orient Express! Anyway, the first day was quiet. I did a lot of journal writing and even wrote a short story along the Seine. I'm sure it's terrible (have not reread it yet) but with views like this, I'm Jean Paul freakin' Sartre!

I love the Louvre and am amazed how this building keeps up with the times allowing modern, rush hour traffic through its ancient arches! This is a commute I could handle.

For an hour, I watched this woman painting the painting on the wall. It was fascinating and I swear, I didn't see the sign that said, "No photos please".

Yes, I tried to sit on the floor to get this photo of the ceiling in the Italian painting gallery and was asked to get up. I just bent down, then I fell on my butt. I did not plan on sitting on the floor in the Louvre, well, maybe I did. Gauche American, fully achieved! It's the caffeine, I think? Really, have you had a cup of coffee in Paris?

At one point, I was totally lost and pretty sure I wasn't supposed to be here but since I had already photographed the artist with the "no photos please" sign and laid on the floor, I figured, what the heck. I thought I'd hear voices from the past but all I heard were the usual ones in my head.

I loved the coffee at this little cafe and the view up the street was a classic, Paris neighborhood. Everyone was so friendly to me. "He drove me on his motorbike through the crisp evening air and kissed me under the lights of the Eiffel Tower." WAIT, I already told you about the short story, right?

Paris was a eat-fest. I visited shops like this regularly,
constantly, don't quibble. I wanted to ring the bell and ask how much it would cost to live above the shop for a month. Look at those windows!

In the end, there's nothing that says Paris more than the Eiffel Tower other than a chocolate croissant, cup of espresso, chocolates at Maison du Chocolat, creme brulee, profiterols, anything with real French butter or a Croque Madame sandwich. Did I mention it was an eat-fest?

Cheers mates and a tout à l'heure!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yes, I've been MIA but I've had good reasons...

More to come, details to follow and there might even be a giveaway! Post a comment to let me know there's still some of you left out there!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Go Home Young Man...

I just got back from a trip to see my family. I flew into Atlantic City and rented a car. I wasn't in NJ 45 minutes when a woman in ginormous white sunglasses, driving a monster Escalade flew out from behind me and passed me going 90 miles an hour. She gave me the finger as she flew by and I knew it was going to be a perfect weekend. Classic!

The entire weekend was a harmonious blend of my favorite things -- family, friends, Mom's cooking, NYC and Winter weather as cold as 13 degrees. Winter is a character in my life that doesn't visit often enough. It's so sensory, full of life and I love everything about it. The reason for the trip was a celebration, my niece turned 16! She's a great kid. Before the party, I had absolutely no concept of what 16 year old kids were like but I was surprised that a lot of them seemed like really good kids. There weren't any obvious nose piercing, tattoos or use of vulgar language so I was pretty impressed and surprised.

I spent Sunday in the city with my oldest and one of my dearest friends. We walked through Central Park, had lunch at the Boathouse, went to the Met and had drinks at the Oak Room at the Plaza hotel. It was an exceptional and lovely day. I love everything about the city, especially this time of year. I was all bundled up in my hand knit scarf and fingerless gloves. And yes, they survived the trip and got tons of use!

I know so many of you live in cold climates but for this Florida guy, it was paradise. The only really beat part of the whole weekend was I forgot my knitting. I must have said 10 times before I left, "get something out of the ottoman to bring on the trip." Never happened! I did have my Nook so the trip was not lost. Just for fun, I wanted to try knitting with twine and two pencils at my parents. I could hear my Mom, "Joseph, give it a rest already!" Gotta hear it with the New Yawk accent ... Classic!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Coffee Talk 2

I love how more people emailed or Rav-mailed me about the penis-cozy girl rather than actually leaving a comment! I got a real kick out of it. So much so, that I thought it could be a fun weekly piece, "Strange Knit Tuesdays". Okay, fine, I didn't really think the name through. I thought, hey, it might even make me a better blogger or that's how I was selling it to myself. In the end, it will not be a regular piece because surfing the web for stuff like this is a ridiculous waste of time. The cursory search did bring us this darling and I'd be remiss if I didn't share it with you. It's a crocheted, anatomically accurate birth doll with a removable umbilical cord! (not pictured,, you need to head over to Etsy for all the glory). I love it. I'd spend the $15 for the pattern but it's an advanced crochet pattern and I can barely chain stitch.

Garret, I can't help ya, I just came across Penis-cozy girl in my travels. I swear (hand raised in boy scout fashion). And Krystal, a woman of few words, glad to see you back! To all you others, too scared to attach your monikers to this insanity ... I can't blame you!

I picked up the new Vogue Knitting and have been pouring over Josh's (aka Boy Meets Purl) fair-isle cardigan. I think I'm really going to try a sweater this year! It's gorgeous and I can totally see myself on this guy in this sweater. Oops.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coffee Talk

I give you this ... talk amongst yourselves! I'll start you off...

Why? Just why?
Why is she praying? Could it be for a new outfit?
Why would a woman wear a full body penis cozy?
Do you think there's a pattern?

You're on your own from here!