Monthly Archives: December 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it! Happy Holidays!

My Christmas so far has been very good. I wasn’t expecting very much so I was very happy to receive so much. As many know, I was recently pickpocketed and my camera was stolen. For me that was a huge blow as I have my Etsy shop and had gotten used to taking pics of things I saw during my day. I felt almost naked without a camera. Imagine my great surprise when my aunt gave me a camera for xmas!!!

Another huge thing I’ve wanted is a Garmin Forerunner GPS watch. I’m planning to do another marathon this year (at least 1, maybe 2) and maybe some half marathons and so having this watch is great! I also got a portable external hard drive which I really need. My laptop is on its last legs and I’m slightly worried that it might die on me soon so having everything backed up will be a huge relief. I def can’t afford a new computer right now so I’ll keep with my 4-year old laptop till it dies on me.

In return, everyone received handknitted gifts. I need to photograph all the projects and upload them here. For my mother I made an Alhambra scarf, my aunt – Forest Canopy Shawl, other aunt – fingerless gloves, brother – knitted beanie and the first of the Septimus Heap series, and my cousin – the book ‘The Hunger Games’ and a crocheted bookmark. I think everyone was happy with their gifts. I ended up knitting till the last minute. I didn’t manage to finish weaving in the ends of the fingerless gloves, so I wrapped them, gave them to my aunt and once she opened it, told her I’d weave in the ends and give them back to her later. Better than an IOU methinks. 🙂

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Thank goodness for friends with spare keys!

Tonight was a crazy night and definitely the worst night ever to get locked out of your house. According to NY Times, around 9 inches of snow has fallen though it feels much worse. Expecting this storm, my mother came home and parked her car under a bridge hoping the car won’t get too buried in snow. Despite the storms, Christmas is a coming and we are woefully behind in our shopping. So we decided we’d take the bus to Queens Center Mall for some shopping.

I was pretty disappointed with the mall. My xmas gifts consist of knitted items and books and can you believe it?!? there’s not one bookstore in that mall. In my mind that makes it the worst mall ever. Also since my camera went walkies, I was hoping to take a look at some cameras at the mall to get an idea of what I will get myself. Not one decent electronics store there either.

I ended up buying no xmas gifts, just a winter coat for myself (a definite need! especially with all that snow coming down) and I also got some silver hoop earrings (60% off at JC Penneys). I’ll have to schlep to Borders next week sometime to pick up the books necessary to complete my gifts.

So we get home and snow is everywhere.

My mother immediately gets the shovel to start shoveling and I go for my key. I have just the one key and I always keep it in the little front pocket of my jeans. The key was not there. I checked my coat pockets, not there. I throw everything out of my bag and go through it slowly – NO KEY!. My mother keeps plugging away with the shovel as I tell her I have no key. I’m trying to figure out what could have happened and then remembered that I’d stopped at The Gap and tried on some pants. I’m guessing the key fell out of my pocket.

As we hadn’t taken the car, my mother had left her car keys in the house on which was her house key. She remembered that one of her friends had a spare key for the house so she called her and told her we were locked out and mentioned that she didn’t even have her car keys (by this meaning that we couldn’t go into the car to stay warm). Anyhow, the friend shows up 30 min later with her spare car keys thinking she was locked out of her car. While waiting for her, our pizza arrived. We had ordered pizza when we were around 10 min from home on the bus for dinner. So we were stuck standing in the cold, eating our pizza and watching cars stall in the drifts outside . When said friend showed up without the house keys, we all had to bundle into her car, drive back to her house for the house key and then come back home (we didn’t take my mom’s car as that would mean cleaning the car, shovels, etc). Our feet were wet and frozen and we were pretty miserable.

So that was my evening! Now I’m enjoying some Will Smith in Enemy of the State and I think I’m finally feeling warm enough.

Up to my knees in snow:

Outside the mall:

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Knit, Wine and Mexican

After a hum drum Friday, I bundled up and went to Gotham Fine Yarn for Knit and Wine night. I’m so not ready for this crazy cold. After years of mild London winters, this piercing cold is going to take lot of adjusting. I was bundled up in layers, coat, big worsted weight Clapotis and chunky weight mittens and I was still freezing.

Today we’re experiencing the first snow storm of the season and I’m really excited. I haven’t seen a proper snow storm in years and I’m looking forward to it.

Back to last night. Knit night was great! The people were really cool and very interesting. I’d tried out knit night at Yarntopia and I just wasn’t feeling it. There were a couple of dominant personalities and they talked over everyone else and sadly what they were saying just wasn’t that interesting. In this group, the chat was interesting, everyone was allowed to share and you were also able to have a chat with the person next to you without being talked over. I worked on my xmas knitting. I’m still a long way from finishing but my projects aren’t too bad and I’m not working so I know I’ll get it all done in time.

Gotham Fine Yarn is also pretty awesome. The prices are very reasonable (not so at Yarntopia) and Rebecca, who runs the shop, is really nice and approachable. I think I’ll be adopting Gotham Fine Yarn as my LYS. Plus I love the location. Lots of cool stuff to do in that area.

After knitting, Angelique and I went in search of a Puerto Rican restaurant. It was so cold though that we gave up and ducked into a Mexican restaurant: El Maguey Y La Tuna (321 E. Houston St). This was my first Mexican since arriving back in the states and I was fairly excited. I went for a boring chili con carne burrito as I just wanted warming, comfort food.

My burrito:

Overall, the burrito was tasty but nothing special. Angelique’s food was pretty disappointing. She got something adobo and the serving was fairly stingy. She was still hungry after finishing her meal which is fairly sad for a Mexican place. I then got some flan for dessert and got the stingiest dessert serving every. Also it wasn’t that tasty. Check this out:

So, final analysis, Knit and Wine night awesome but skip El Maguey y La Tuna. We had wanted to go to Katz’s deli but it’s cash only and we were both cash poor.

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Meet Oliver!

Monday night I went to Etsy Craft night and we were taught how to make plush toys. I had brought my own crafting stuff thinking I could pass on the plush toys and do my own thing instead but everyone was making toys so I jumped in. We were given toy shaped paper; we place the paper over two layers of fabric (mainly old shirts) and cut out our toys. Then we had to add the eyes and nose and use embroidery thread to sew the mouth. I had to then learn to use a sewing machine to sew up my toy. I was a bit tense during the sewing – had the machine set to the slowest possible and managed it.

Here’s a pic of the toy sewn up. Note that for sewing up, you sew the two pieces together inside out before turning it right side out for stuffing. However, before sewing up it’s necessary to add eyes, nose and mouth.

Then we stuffed our toys and sewed up the bit you left open for stuffing. I decided I’d name this little guy Oliver. Here’s Oliver and Jay-Z:

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The Amazing Race

I spent most of last week feeling absolutely ill on account of The Amazing Race (TAR) finale party. Last week Sunday, a rav friend came to NY to go to the TAR finale party. She invited me along and despite the fact that I’d never seen the show, it sounded like good fun. The only thing is that this was an expensive party ($75 for 3 hours with open bar) so being the economist I am, I planned to get my money’s worth. BAD BAD IDEA!!!

I met up with Duncks and we first completed knitting transactions, I had a traveling scarf to hand off to her plus a wee prezzie and of course knitted items to show off.

Me and Duncks:

Then I joined the cocktail ordering. Normally I’m a G & T girl but at $75, I thought I should try out what was on offer. Duncks had started off checking cocktails off the list as we order so I joined the fun. Our favorite from the evening was ‘Lingerie’, yum! We were happily throwing back cocktails and I was not feeling it so I thought I was handling it all fine; then it all hit me all at once; I think around the time they aired the finale of TAR I was pretty wasted.

You might think looking at that picture that those were drinks for like 10 people. Nope, just four of us. It was nearing the end of our 3-hr open bar so I started ordering multiple drinks so we’d have another hour of drinking (I did say I was an economist) ;-).

Moments of note:

1. Besides the drinking, I managed to make out with a girl. At the beginning of the evening I joked that I’d wasted my college years as I’d never even kissed a girl (cue Katy Perry in the background) and at a point of being wasted I did kiss one, tongues and all (I’m not naming names). I think I’m still very heterosexual but now I guess I’m not a complete square :-).

2. Random funny moment during the evening: Keisha (from the last season’s TAR) was tossing back vodka red bulls and they were served in pint glasses. Anyhow, she asked Duncks and I to get her a napkin so she would wrap it around her glass cause it was cold. So Duncks whips out a cup cozy from her bag and says that’s what you get when you hang out with knitters. Keisha found it very funny but went on to use the cozy for the rest of the night.

3. By the time the finale of TAR came on I was already a number of sheets to the wind and had no clue what was going on. Then the finalists showed up at the party. I thought the winners were brother and sister so was totally throwing myself at the guy but he was like he’s been with the girl for 5 years. Way to make a fool of myself :-).

4. Sad moment: While being drunk and flirting inappropriately with the few straight guys around, kissing girls, oh and hanging outside chatting with a homeless guy (Jerome) for a while, I managed to get pickpocketed. My bag was hanging off the back of my chair (yes, I know…) and my camera and wallet were taken. The camera was especially sad as I had so many pics of the evening. Luckily, Duncks has tons of pics so all pics in this post is thanks to her.

Lots of pics of the evening:


(Have no clue who she is and she is not the girl I kissed. I think she’s TAR related somehow)


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NY times

On Thursday I had one of those awesome NY evenings. I met up with Angelique, my new friend. I met her through ravelry when I started a thread saying I was looking for friends in NYC. She’s here from Denver for a couple of months and so was also looking for friends and so we’ve been having fun exploring the crafterly side to NYC.

Knit Shops

First, we met up and hit a couple of knit shops. We stopped at Wool and the Gang. The yarns are gorgeous and the colors lush but the prices, way way way too high with very little yardage per skein. Also, the people at the shop were super trendy but weren’t the most informed on knitting. Some of the yarn did not have the yardage on it and when we asked, one of the women was like, “yeah, people keep asking that…” imagine slightly clueless voice but with a British accent. She did look lovely and trendy though.

Then we hit Purl Soho, gorgeous place again though tiny and ridunkulously expensive. I found the prices a bit intimidating so while I admired, I quickly made an exit. We tried out Purl’s fabric shop which was a couple of shops down. Again, gorgeous but wow, expensive!!! I considered buying some fat quarters but prices started around $40 for very few fat quarters, so I just said no.

Gallery

After checking out these lovely but expensive shops, we hit a gallery which was showcasing gorgeous plushies; the NY Holiday Plush show at gallery hanahou. There were some absolutely lovely plushies there.

Check out the lovely birds! (More pics on my flickr)

Bulgogi Hot Dog

After our crafterly activities, we met up with some of Angelique’s friends at Blind Tiger on Bleecker. Can I just say what an amazing street Bleecker St is? OMG! The restaurants!!! We wanted to eat everything! There was pinkberry, Five Guys, Qdoba, and then tons of cafes, pizzerias, bars, etc. And of course, each place sold the best x in NY. On the way to the bar, Angelique and I saw this hot dog spot that sold the best hot dogs in NY and in their window, they had cool plastic models of their hot dogs and they sold bulgogi kim chi hot dogs. Angelique is half-Korean and we started fantasizing about the dogs.

We met up for drinks with people at the bar and could not stop talking about wanting to try these hot dogs. So when the idea of food came up, we HAD to go there. The others went to get pizza (at I’m sure the best place to get pizza in NY and we went to the hot dog place).

Bulgogi kim chi hot dog with fries:

Nom:

So I must say, the hot dogs lived up to the fantasy. They were delish! So it’s a hot dog with bulgogi and kim chi on top. So so yummy!!!

Afterwards we went walking in search of a new venue. But, Angelique and I abandoned the search to head for dessert. Next door to the hot dogs was a dessert place and the cheesecake looked amazing. Plus cookies, cakes, etc etc. So we ran off from the ground and went back to the cafe. See above for picture of yummy desserts.

What a fun evening!

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My Cup Runneths Over

Tonight, I joined a new NYC friend for Etsy’s craft night which takes place every Monday. For some reason I never considered that of course Etsy has a headquarters and how cool that it’s in Brooklyn. Anyhow, despite a rainy day I headed out to the craft night and how fun was it. Tonight was just an open craft night so I brought my beads and made tons of stitch markers for my Etsy shop. I’ll photo and upload them to my shop tomorrow: karako17.etsy.com.

Well I got home and both my Eat, Sleep, Knit and Malabrigo Swap package had arrived. I’m one of those who likes to save the best for last so first I opened my ESK package. All was as expected but there was a bonus. I scored $5 in credit from the ESK scratch card. Yippee!!!

Then on to my swap package: Oh my!!!

Here’s a pic of all the items together:

And the details:

The theme of my package was in honor of my return to the US: Red, White and Blue. All items were wrapped in red, white or blue tissue paper.

At the top was a huge ziploc bag of homemade choc chip cookies. I’d confessed that I’d never had homemade cookies and so Eva made all these for me. I then got some gorgeous red and white PJ pants. I also got the Knitted Lace of Estonia book which I’ve been hankering for for ages.

Then I saw the most beautiful tote. I love Totes and Eva had her mother make me this lovely Tote (these bags are sold on Eva’s mom’s Etsy shop; her Etsy name is 1000pinesneedlearts). Then Eva ingeniously packed a number of awesome surprises in the bag. There are these awesome pockets inside the tote and each pocket had a surprise for moi :-)!!!

Inside the tote was:

– the yarn: Two skeins of Mal worsted in Tuareg and 1 skein MadTosh worsted in Baltic.
– Buttons: Blue, red and some ecru-ey, creamy colored ones
– Red journal and blue post-it notes with cutey birds
– Green and Blacks white chocolate
– Bing Cherry chocolates (w/ real fruit inside)
– 500ml bottle of Eucalan w/ eucalyptus oil
– And if all of the above wasn’t enough, I received an IOU for a knitted item which I’ll receive soon.

Bigger pics can be found on my flickr.

What an awesome way to end my day!!! 🙂

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