Category Archives: sometimes I leave the house

Admiral’s Row: So close, yet so far away

Yesterday morning, I went to the first New Amsterdam Market of the spring. I said hello to a few people, introduced myself to some of my interview subjects I hadn’t yet met in person, bought a grapefruit/chamomile soda from the lovely folks at P&H and a pepperwort plant from the Vermont wild food people, and left before it got too crowded. It was a not-too-warm sunny day, so I decided to walk back into Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge and walk home from there. Halfway over, however, I was thinking about the route home and the fact that it’s the same walk I take from home to work and back again every working day. And I was overcome with ennui. However, thinking about where I’d be coming off the bridge, I realized that I wouldn’t be far from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where there was something I’d been wanting to go look at for years.

Admiral’s Row is a block of decrepit mansions where the naval officers lived around the turn of the twentieth century back when the Navy Yard was a bustling industrial center. They’re behind walls and fences now, so not really accessible, but they’re at least visible. I had a confusing walk over from the bridge — I knew which direction I needed to go and had a good basic idea of which streets would get me there, but I kept coming up against dead ends and on-ramps and strange roads with no sidewalks, some of which I swear were not on the map I pulled up on my phone. (Ah, Brooklyn!) But I persevered and found Flushing Avenue … and realized I wouldn’t be able to get any closer because the thousands of cyclists participating in the 5Boro Bike Tour were whizzing along in my way.I’ll head back over sooner rather than later, so should have some more photos then, but in the meantime, the Officer’s Row Project site is well worth your time and there are some beautiful shots on Gothamist and Scouting New York.

At least I’ll know how to get there next time.

Putting Twenty Ten to bed

A couple of weekends ago, I met my friend Anna at an old factory in Greenpoint to take some pictures of my next sweater design on the roof and in a photogenically run-down stairwell. I happened to have worn my Twenty Ten cardigan over there and she was kind enough to take a couple of photos when I realized I didn’t have any modeled shots here. I’m really happy with how it turned out, definitely worth frankensteining a bunch of different sizes in a different gauge to make something that fit well.

And here’s a sneak peak at the new one:

I’m sizing the pattern now. It’s giving me fits, but I will triumph. I should be able to get it to my lovely tech editor after the New Year’s weekend, lord willing and the creek don’t rise. (whether she ever talks to me again afterward is another story…)

Announcing Herkimer

I’m delighted to announce that my first downloadable knitting pattern, Herkimer, is live on Ravelry. It’s a seamless cabled cardigan knit in Ultra Alpaca and sized from 32″ to 53 1/4″. I did the actual knitting a while ago, so I’ve really been enjoying getting to show it off. And the fact that I’m in a position to do so is due to my very good luck having friends with the skills I needed to make this pattern happen: Carolyn and her prowess with the camera, Jenn and her math-whiz tech-editing skills, and Jackie‘s graphic design know-how.

Carolyn took the pictures while I was in Chicago earlier this summer, and she and Jenn were nice enough to wander around downtown Chicago with me while I looked for the kind of picturesque urban grit I had in mind for a background. (I had no idea the city was so clean and shiny! All the talk of gangsters and stockyards had led me to believe there’d be more dirt.) But we found this lovely brick wall, and Carolyn went to work while I stood there awkwardly, trying to look like a normal human wearing a sweater. She’s such a good photographer that the final shots look natural, but Jenn got a few camera photos of us at work.

Chicago has the nicest back alleys I’ve ever seen. There was a Maserati just out of the shot. (But what do I do with my hands?)

New project

Last weekend, I had an overwhelming urge to cast on for a new sweater, one that I would just knit straight from the pattern without designing it myself or rewriting for a gauge difference or reworking elements to be more to my taste. So I did, more or less.

I’ve had this Teva Durham pattern from the winter 99/00 issue of Vogue Knitting on my radar for a while. I wanted a pullover since I’ve been knitting a lot of cardigans lately and I really like the mix of textures and how smoothly the pattern transitions between them. I like that it’s closely fitted at the shoulder, which makes a huge difference in how well a sweater fits (and therefore flatters) me. I didn’t quite meet my goal of a project with no changes, but the ones I’m making are fairly straightforward: leaving off all the foofaraw on the bottom and doing besides the slit and pom-poms at the neck. I’m using some Aracaunia Nature Wool that I had ordered online a year or so ago thinking that it was a pretty dark pink color. When it showed up was a kind of dead pinky-wine color, so I overdyed it with (I think, it’s been a while) some burgandy and a little black and it’s a much more interesting darker plum now.