July 29, 2008

Taken along for the ride...

This past weekend my knitterly friend Jessica and I trekked on down to unspeakably beautiful Martha's Vineyard to stay with her parents Friday night and visit Susan, Patrick and all the lovely aminals at Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm on Saturday. The plan was to meet Susan at the Farmer's Market, go visit the newly sprung lambs and kids, meet back at Jess's parent's house for dinner and head on back to the mainland that evening.

At the mention of an open bar and possible celebrity sightings, however, our plans went severely and delightfully awry, and we were taken on a wonderful, unexpected ride. Basically, it was so, like, totally cool!

Unfortunately, neither Jess nor I had our cameras with us, so we have no photos. Womp womp.

So we got to the Island on Friday night, found our rental car and drove to Jess's parents beautiful cottage, where we immediately found crackers and yummy bluefish pate to snack on (who would have guessed that I would ever have liked bluefish pate?  Oy!  Meshugena!) I met Jess's wonderful parents and two of their friends, and we spent the evening talking.

I woke up the next morning next to an open window, breathing in fresh Island air. We were the first ones up so I was going to sit outside and knit on the deck while Jess took her shower. I gathered my knitting, walked outside, realized all the chairs were wet with dew, and came back inside to get a towel to wipe them off. Except, of course, the door had closed behind me and had effectively locked me out. So, there I was, with my sore morning-back, and wet benches and chairs around me. I had to laugh at the situation and was just glad that it was so beautiful outside. I only spent about 15 minutes before Jess discovered me and came to my rescue, but it was really lovely just walking around their deck enjoying the early morning air.

Jess's dad made us delicious crepes, which we filled with Fig Jam. Do it. Seriously. Now. Go get some fig jam and make some crepes. It's amazing. We certainly didn't suffer for good food this weekend. We decided we wanted to get to the farmer's market, so we hopped in our little Kia Spectra and made our way to, um, wherever the farmer's market was. On the way we stopped at an adorable little general store to get some coffee, and on the way out we saw this dude driving one of those old cars from the 60's- fake wood paneling, convertible, you can hear just hear the Beach Boys playing and see the surf boards sticking out the back. The guy driving, we only saw the back of his head, but decided that it was Sammy Hagar. We were so excited to see a celebrity (even though it was probably actually some guy named Paul or something) that we decided to tell everyone that we ran into Sammy Hagar. Well, actually, we decided to tell people that we met Sammy Hagar, I complimented his ride, and he drove us around the island while Jess gave him a blow job and he snorted lines of coke off my ass.

So anyway, we got back into the car to realize that the farmer's market was less than a block away, so we parked and immediately found Susan's tent. Yay for Susan! We plunked ourselves right down and started helping her wind big messes of yarn into balls (apparently Customs on the Canadian border had de-skeined about 20 skeins of yarn and not put them back. Thanks, Customs). While we sat there, beautiful morning, I saw STANLEY TUCCI! FOR REAL! He was right there in a popped-collared polo shirt and shorts, carrying... something farmer's market-like. And in a FLASH he was gone. But I was so excited! First Sammy Hagar, and now, for real, Stanley Tucci! So Jess and I ran after him and he drove us around the island talking about what it's like working with Meryl Streep and the cast of ER while she went down on him and he snorted lines of coke off my ass. You know how it goes, right?

So, once Stanley drove us back, the farmer's market was over and we packed up and went to Susan's house to drop off all the stuff. We grabbed some lunch and somewhere during this time Susan mentioned that that night she was going to the Island Affordable Housing Fund's Annual Premier Party Fundraiser and could we come with? At first we said we had to leave that night, because I had the birthday party of Ken's niece to go to the next morning, but after a bit of cajoling I was convinced that if we just left on the very first ferry out the next morning (6 am, wretch!) that we could do the fundraiser that night. Susan said it would be way more fun for her with us there, and given her near rock star status in our little world, that was very convincing. Plus, she mentioned there might be a few celebrities there, and I just can't give up the opportunity to see celebrities. I don't know why. I get really star struck and tend to make an ass out of myself so I really should just avoid them altogether, but hey, I'm not made of stone, people. I am totally intrigued with the rich and famous.

Soon it occurred to us that all we had to wear were the soon-to-be-covered-in-sheep-and-goat-poop clothes we were wearing, so off we went to Oak Bluffs to go shopping! Jess found a beautiful outfit which we convinced her to keep, and I found a lovely white skirt which would go well with the shirt I had worn to work the day before. The damn thing cost $70, though, so the entire trajectory that night was to keep it clean.

Once we had our clothes we went off to the place that drew Jess and I to the island in the first place- the farm! Oh those goats and sheep are SO ADORABLE! And Susan's watchdogs, Biscotti and Fettucini are amazing. Biscotti likes to scratch so I stayed either right next to or far away from her, given the fact that we were walking through poison ivy and I didn't want it to get INTO the scratches, but she is WAY too adorable for a dog. Like, it's really just not fair. She is the smiliest dog I have ever seen.

I totally made friends with little Sweet William, one of the bottle babies in the Mohair Goat population. He is so adorable, looks like a little surfer dude! Wherever I would stand, he'd come up to me and squeeze his way between my legs, so he was always standing with his little curly topped head peeking out from between my knees. I fell in love with him, Bay Leaf and Cumin. Because they are bottle babies they are very used to humans and came RIGHT up to us to be pet. In fact, when we drove up in our golf cart they came running up to us, tails wagging, just like little puppies. Really just melts your heart.

Please, please go to Susan's Blog to see the best pictures of these little cuties. Read her blog, because it's totally fascinating, but even if you don't have time just scroll through the pictures.

I really want to go back when my back is even better and I can spend more time working with the animals. It was so amazing to meet them and see how incredible they are. The best part was my discovery that they speak to each other. A baby, somewhere in the flock, would cry out (sounds just like a child), and somewhere else, ONE mama, HIS mama would answer. Apparently, these mama goats don't make these sounds until they give birth, and each parent/child matchup has their own call. It is so ridiculously cool! I love it!

So we spent the next two hours in a mad rush of showering the poop and poison ivy off of us, having an AMAZING dinner with Jess's parents (her dad can COOOOOOK!!!), getting all dolled up for the party and dropping off the rental car. I may or may not have accidentally flashed the vag to the guys at the car rental place. Hey, when you're wearing a white skirt that you want to return the next day and you're climbing into a farm truck that's taller than god, sometimes it's necessary to show a little Mainland Bush when climbing into the truck. It's all in the name of keeping the skirt clean, folks.

So we got to the Ag Hall in West Tisbury where the benefit was being held, which, incidentally is now where I want to get married. It is this BEAUTIFUL, HUGE, open barn that was decorated in Christmas lights and white gauzy fabric, with little "lounges" of white couches and white armchairs. The bar was exactly the best kind (read: open) and the blues band was really amazing. Perhaps I'm looking back on the night with rose tinted glasses, but it was the most beautiful venue I've ever seen. Very relaxed and rustic, yet elegant at the same time, with a constant airy, open breeze running through it. It was perfect.

The drink du noir was the South Beach, a mixture of rum, lime juice and pomegranate juice. Delicious but not too strong. Susan did such a great job of making us feel included, even though we knew NOBODY there. Susan and her dude Patrick, however, seem to be the social butterflies of the Island, so we got introduced to everyone. While we were standing around, talking to some new friends, Jessica, in true Jessica form, noticed a beautiful German Shepherd outside. If you know Jess, which you probably do, you know how deep her love for animals, especially dogs, goes. It's truly amazing, she is so incredible with dogs and loves them more than she loves people, I think. So I'm pretty sure it went like this, with Jess and Susan simultaneously pointing out the window to the lawn out back:

Jess: "Gasp! Look at that beautiful dog!"
Susan: "Gasp! Look at Jim Belushi!"

So Jess, who can be a bit shy, threw that purse over her shoulder and boldly walked out to the lawn, proceeded to completely ignore Jim Belushi and fawn all over his dog. I love her.

Meanwhile, I was introduced to this really nice man named Michael, who I was later told had the title of "Big Hollywood Producer." That can mean such a variety of things I decided to not get completely celebrity retarded about it, but it was still cool. We stood by the fried shrimp station where I proceeded to get splattered with hot, hot, burning oil. In my eyes, all over my shirt, and yes, all over the white skirt. I'm really hoping it's not that noticeable, however for the rest of the night, I had these big dark splotches all over my top. Sigh... I really just can't be taken anywhere.

Sooner or later Jim Belushi came in to sing, which was really fun, and Jess spotted Ralph Lauren, who, I could tell, was ridiculously impressed with my oil-splattered outfit. I know, I'm like a fashion goddess. I don't even try. Susan spotted some actor on the show Jericho. I saw the dude, but I've never seen the show, so for all I knew he was just a guy named Paul.

After hours of drinking, meeting really wonderful people and dancing (on the STAGE with Jim Belushi, btw), we were beat and decided to go home. Ooh! But we got gift bags! SO COOL! I've never gotten a gift bag before!

Before bed, however, we drove back to the farm to bottle feed the babies. All three of us were in heels of varying heights, wearing really nice clothes, and riding in the golf cart, then walking on the dirt paths, and feeding the babies with the bottles. In the middle of the night. It was awesome. :) Those kids can TAKE A BOTTLE, man! I thought it would take like, 20 minutes, it took about a minute and a half for little Bay Leaf to suck down a full bottle. Oh, such happy little babies!

I love those goats, I can't wait to see them again!

So, exhausted as we were, we had been invited to an after party. Susan said she wanted to go just for a little bit, just to see the inside of this house, since she'd seen the outside and it was amazing. We said, sure, let's go for a minute, check it out and come on home.

Oh. My god. This is the hugest, most amazing house I've ever been to. It wasn't a real house from real life, I swear. It was a set from a movie. It had to be. We walked up this long, winding, wooded driveway which had tiki torches flaming from either side, and came up to the guest house, which acted as a covered bridge to the driveway, with living areas on either side, plus an attic-type canopy over the top. The guest house was bigger than my house. We walked through that and saw the real house. The most beautiful hydrangea bushes I've ever seen bordering the house, a beautifully lit outdoor living room to the right. We walked in, and I just can't describe it. It was beautiful and modern. There's Jim Belushi again (god, it's getting boring at this point). There's the lit-from-within swimming pool. There's the Edgartown Harbor, right there where that sail boat is 200 ft away. There's the hugest, gaudiest, ugliest chandelier I've ever seen constructed entirely from seashells. There's the bar. There are the little notepads next to each phone that say "Summer House" (as opposed to the "Winter House" pads in Palm Beach and the "Ski House" pads in Vail). There are the 3 refrigerators in the kitchen. There's the wrap-around porch, looking into the house's seventeen THOUSAND rooms on this floor. There are the 15' ceilings. There's the screening room. There's the East Coast version of the cast of The Hills, hanging out in the bowling alley on the bottom floor. There's Logan Huntzberger. (Okay, Logan Huntzberger wasn't there, but if he was real, he would have been. Is what I'm saying.) There's the modest collection of vintage cars in the garage. There's Jim Belushi again (yawn).

As Susan said, the whole place looked ready for the magazine photo spread at any moment.

So, after Jess went down on Jim Belushi in the '59 Corvette and he snorted lines of coke off my ass, we headed home, just in time to get 3 hours of sleep before having to get up for the 6am ferry.

All in all, an amazing, amazing weekend, for which I don't even know how to thank Susan and Patrick. They put us up for the night, gave us nice party shoes (thank god we all have the same size feet! Well, not Patrick) and treated us with such warmth. Not to mention letting us tag along to this $350 a ticket party and taking us to the craziest house I'd ever seen! The rest of the world is simply spoiled for me now...

Fortunately, I have a date with my girls at the Tam on Thursday. Just the thing to bring me back down to earth, in the most wonderful, dive bar way. :)

July 23, 2008

oops! hee hee!

So I decided I wanted to knit these using this:

I had never done stranded knitting before, and I saw a cool little tool that's supposed to make it easier, so I decided to buy it. So I went to Windsor Button to buy this:

And only that.

I came away, however, with this:

...And these:

(here's another picture of the pink)

I am a whore. I have become a whore. But I can't help it. Have you TOUCHED Malabrigo? Have you FELT it? Have you smelled it? It's effing heavenly.

So here's what I have to show for it, after that first evening:

If only you could feel how soft it is. It is amazing. It's like a tiny little kiss on the cheek from an angel. It's like a summer's day walk through a meadow filled with wildflowers, and sun coming through the leaves. It's like when Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe finally fell in love. It's like $240 worth of puddin'.

Oh, and then there's THIS, for which I fought tooth and nail over the span of two hours on a website that crashed every time I clicked a button. I'm surprised I haven't been fired.

Ladies and... well, I'm pretty sure the only people who read this blog are ladies, I present to you, The Most Beautiful Skein Of Yarn In The World

Another, truer to the color, but blurry.

And another.

Seriously, when I look at these pictures I get this jelly-like feeling in my stomach.

I'm useless. I'm spent.

July 11, 2008

You know how you get going on, say, two projects, both on size 2s, which means that you can't cast on any more socks because your third pair of 2s are in New York with your best friend who simply hasn't sent them back yet, even though they've been sitting on her dresser since late February, and you don't want to harass her for it because there was that time 2 years ago when she visited you and left her black kitten heels in her apartment and it took you MONTHS to get around to sending them back to her, so you feel like an asshole asking her to get a move on already, but you don't want to buy a whole 'nother set of size 2's, except that you know that, embarrassing as it may be, you could so be content with FOUR sets of circular 2s, because FOUR sock projects on the needles at once is actually a totally reasonable situation in your eyes, but there's that little voice in your head that's like "Um, hello little missy, you have THOUSANDS of dollars in educational debt to pay off, you don't need to spend another $13 on a FOURTH set of size 2 circs" so you decide that you need to just finish up the projects that you have going, even though they are both seemingly in that stage where you knit on 'em for like 5 hours and you haven't even gained a half inch of progress, and besides it's summer, so what are you gonna do with warm wooly socks anyway, but then you sign on to Rav as soon as you get into work (because you desperately need to be writing that spec that your boss wants you to finish two weeks ago so CLEARLY, Rav is the place to go) and check out the new Friends Activity tab which, even though you NEVER go there, you just heard that Casey added cool new features to it, and you see these that Ariel queued, and you realize it has been AGES since you knit up a lacy pair of socks and you MUST KNIT THESE NOW with your jade STR?

Yeah, me too. I'd just go out and buy the needles, except that no place near me sells my favorite size 2 circs. Sad. Womp Wooooomp.

Ariel, from above, and I had a little dye day a couple weeks ago, during which we dyed a buttload of undyed sock yarn and roving with natural dye extracts. I wanted to wait on this until I had more pics of the final products to show, but I haven't actually gotten around to even washing the yarn, and it has now "air cured" for two weeks. I'll wash it this weekend, I 'spect, but I just wanted to throw a shout out to my homes Ariel, and post some of the pics that I have.

This is what we started with:

Ariel dyeing with madder, which goes on babypoop brown, and sets a gorgeous dark reddish color:

Note the baby bottles- a clear stroke of genius on my part when we couldn't find squeezy bottles anywhere in the state of Massachusetts (read: the Woburn Target)

A sock blank, pre-set:

The plan is that when I knit this into socks, they will stripe more or less the way they were dyed. We'll see.

My kitchen when we were done (one point for every beer bottle you can find!)

Aaaand finally, this was my FAVORITE SCORE from the whole experience: dyeing some Lucy Yarn (her undyed sock yarn, merino/tencel superwash. Effing AMAZING) with some Brazilwood bark that Ariel generously purchased for me on a trip out west...


Aaaand a picture of me, after I realized the extent of the damage, and that I would never be able to knit anything with that yarn:

Womp wooooomp.

After an hour of true, genuine moping around and sad, heavy sighs, Ken distracted me with dinner and a series of Entourage episodes (lately, he's used Entourage to cheer me up after several sad events, and might I say it really works! Especially when combined with ice cream. The ice cream is important.)