Friday, September 28, 2007


So, I know I've been neglecting my blogging of late, but a lot has been going on. And, well, I was kind of serious when I complained about the loss of my knitting photographer! Not only did this impinge on my ability to take photos of my knitting, but my fierce urge to keep the phone line open so I could talk to him meant I was not getting on the Internet surface road as often as before.

However, one of the things that has been going on is that I have researched, agonized over, and bought a beautiful new MacBook Pro, which I am typing on right now. What does this mean for my blogging? Well, for one, I had to buy it hi-speed Internet, because it kept giving me these little forlorn messages like "iTunes cannot connect to the Internet!" It seemed so....baffled, I felt bad. And, you know, the MacBook Pro doesn't come with a dial-up modem.

The MacBook Pro does comes with a built-in camera. I'll be using this in future to photograph my knitting. The Pro is a very expensive little camera, but at least it's versatile.

As for my other hobby, wedding planning, the MacBook Pro has revolutionized the invitation question. Remember how I was wondering how/where I'd get the equipment to design my own invite? Well, I have them now. I'll be designing my own invite. More to come on this front.

For now, with my spiffy new Internet connection, I'm proud to throw up these pictures:

These are Grumperina's famous Jaywalker socks, knit in Opal sock yarn ("Feeling") on size 2 dpns. They are the first socks I've knit for myself, and the first ones I've knit using a sock weight yarn (my previous socks have been knit in worsted weight). I love them.

You can see here that I did a pretty good job of matching the striping. Both socks were knit from one skein, so after I finished the first sock, I pulled quite a bit of yarn off the skein in order to get to the right starting point in the striping pattern to start a matching second sock. It's not perfect, but it's pretty darned close.

I knit most of the first sock on the plane to and from Seattle, and after seven hours of nonstop sock knitting, my shoulder finally gave out. I started physical therapy for a screwed-up shoulder yesterday. Have I stopped knitting? one's told me to stop, so I haven't. I'm an addict, what can I say?

What else is happening? I've taken up Pilates, which I love. If you know me and my total indifference to exercise, you'll know how weird this is. I leave the Pilates class feeling energized, in that way peole have always claimed exercise did for them, and which I had never believed because I'd never experienced it. I believe now.

Anything else? Oh yeah: I'm off to Germany soon!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I have two bridesmaids who are my best friends in New York. Naturally, I want them to look good, and, like many brides, I don't want them to have to spend a fortune for the dubious privelege of being my bridesmaids. However, because both of my bridesmaids are 40, I wanted something a bit sophisticated, not prom dress-like. The combination of low price and high style proved a bit of a challenge.

I also have the interesting additional challenge that my two bridesmaids are exact opposites in terms of shape: one is petite with wide hips, narrow shoulders, and a small chest. The other is a plus size with broad shoulders, no hips, and a large chest. It seemed impossible that they could both look good in the same dress. But, as we shopped, we found to our surprise that it wasn't impossible. Here are a few of the ones we considered very good choices.

From David's Bridal, our first stop:

This dress was $155, but the fabric felt so cheap that even though they liked the style, we felt we could do better

From, in all silk:

This dress was $215, with a much nicer fabric (all silk shantung). I thought this was a bit expensive, especially since they charge an extra $40 for a size 16. This pisses me off: are they going to charge us $40 less for a size 4?

After these two, we went to RK Bridal, a bridal store in Manhattan with an almost warehouse store-like feel. You wander through, yank dresses off the racks, and try them on. This is the first place we went where my larger bridesmaid couldn't fit into any of the samples, yet the samples were all too big for my petite bridesmaid. This makes for a difficult visualization exercise. Nevertheless, we really liked this one, a Bill Levkoff, and we thought for sure we would end up ordering it:

RK's "No Frills" price on this is $144, which is great, though there's still that $30 surcharge for the larger size (grr). The fabric is polyester, but it didn't feel too too cheap, so I think it's a good compromise. We liked the structured fit of the bodice, thought it looked quite adult, and it gave both my bridesmaids a nice shape. It's also a two-piece, which gives it a certain versatility in fit and also in possible rewearability. My only concern was that the diagonal seams on the bodice would make it difficult (and expensive) to alter.

With this dress in mind, we visited one final store, Here Comes the Bridesmaid, where we tried on a number of things (including an Alvina Valenta which looked really great on my petite bridesmaid--but the sample, a size 10, barely fit her, who is normally a size 4, so there was no way to get it on the other bridesmaid. What is with the sizing on these things??), but ended up really liking another Bill Levkoff:

This dress costs $160 (+$30 surcharge), but we really liked it. I have to admit, when I found this picture online after the fact, I was really surprised: I would never have thought this style, from the photo, woud look good on either of my maids. But it did. We all like the more evening-dress style. It's pretty without looking like a prom dress, and it will be easier to alter than the dress above. We have a winner!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Seattle slew

Last week I visited my sweetie in Seattle. The weather was gorgeous! Sunny, 75 degrees, no humidity pretty much the entire time I was there. It was as if the city were trying to convince me this is a good idea :-).

I did a bit of shopping in the Home of Nordstrom. Here is my wedding related haul.

Shoes! I had some pretty specific requirements for my wedding shoes:

1) I wanted red satin, and not just any red satin: I wanted a red satin that matched the fabric of my qi pao.

2) I wanted a medium heel, 2"-2.5", because anything higher kills my knees.

3) I wanted an ankle strap, because I can twist my ankle in a pair of flats. No mules, which never stay under my heel, and no slingbacks, which range from merely uncomfortable to worse than a mule for staying put.

4) I wanted it to fit my wide foot.

I'd been looking for these magic shoes for a while. Most shoes never made it past steps 1 or 2, and if they did, they never made it past step 4. I had started thinking of maybe buying white shoes and dying them red (more expense). Then, I wandered into Nordstrom.

These fit the bill. They are BP, which I believe is a Nordstrom house brand, and best yet, they were a mere $40! My only complaint is that they're a bit plain; I might embellish them with some rhinestones or ribbon or some such. But that is cheap & easy. The base, the red satin shoes that don't kill my feet, is done. I'm ready for the dance floor!

My other wedding related purchase:

Seattle postcards. I'm planning to use these for table numbers. Of course, after I was home, I was talking it over with my sweetie, and he suggested we also use postcards for our place cards. I'll have to play with it a little to see how it works (the postcards are rather big for that purpose), but I like the idea a lot. Who says guys can't think creatively about weddings?