Monday, April 27, 2009


Originally uploaded by annachristine
What a weekend. On Saturday, we saw the premiere of the movie that Thomas has been working so hard on for the last 3+ years. I'd managed to avoid almost any information about Up, and I'm glad I did. What an amazing picture! Bring your hankies and the person you love the most in the world, because you're going to want to squeeze them very tightly when you see it.

We got to watch it in the beautiful, historic Paramount Theater in Oakland, and if I thought that would be hard to top, we then walked a couple blocks over to the even more beautiful, recently restored Fox Theater. Incredible. I'm so glad to see downtown Oakland getting a few of its gems back in working order. It was awfully strange to walk in this parade of fancy dressed-up party people through sketchy-ass Oakland, though, with police and private security standing between us and the street. We felt kind of like wildebeest. With broken ankles. Don't make me run!

Originally uploaded by annachristine
The party at the Fox was fun; big band swing when we got there, DJs later; food and big bars (with short waits, hoorah). We got stuck in one room for most of the night, and it actually worked out great - people kept coming by and would stop to talk, so I got to see so many of my friends and congratulate all the folks who worked on the movie. They should be so, so proud. Those folks really set the bar. After most of our chatting, we finally made our way to the dance floor, where all hell broke loose. All I can say is there was some doing of the robot, some break dancing, and a whole lot of hip-thrusting, jacket-swinging, steam-letting-off.

Sunday was great too; I booked an extra night at the hotel room so that we wouldn't have to get up at any particular time, and so I could drop Thomas off at work Monday without having to drive home and then back again.  I miss Berkeley/North Oakland so much sometimes; we walked a lot and there was so much to walk to - local bakery, Peet's Coffee, and then Wood Tavern for dinner on Sunday afternoon.  The walks were a real highlight of our stay.  We were delighted by all the trees, by the different architecture in every single house, by the gardens that were obviously so planned and loved (and a few that weren't, but still somehow had a beauty and proliferation that's unusual in our neighborhood).  It was the perfect temperature, sunny and maybe 68, with a tiny breeze.  We had debated bringing our bikes, or Thomas's at least, since Tunnel Road is a perfect loop for a nice little ride.  In the end we went with the lazy, rejuvenating rest option.  Delicious.

Monday, April 13, 2009

cowl bandwagon

woodland shawl - cowl
Originally uploaded by annachristine
I finally got with it, as far as "with it" goes in the knitting community, and made a cowl. I promptly gave it away, but here I was yesterday, binding off my newest lace shawl to make a short little cowl for myself.

The woodland shawl pattern as written out by Nikol Lohr is really simple and lovely. I can see it being used in a lot of different knit garments. Here it is all laid out in its blocking glory, held tight by welding wires. All I have to do now is decide whether to seam, or add buttons.

Yarn is Dream In Color - Smooshy, colorway Strange Harvest. I was fondling it at Purlescence when the evil, evil Jasmin told me the following:

"Oh... that color! It looks so good on you! You are one of three people I know on this planet who can wear that color so well."

I never had a chance.

queen silvia
Originally uploaded by annachristine
I've also started this - Queen Silvia, from the incredible Knitted Lace of Estonia. I've just gotten through the first repeat and I am loving it much more than I expected. I started the project as a challenge to myself. I've been looking for things to do that will work my brain, and somehow playing Scrabble on Facebook just wasn't serving all my needs (plus, I kept getting my ass handed to me). Working through this stitch pattern in a swatch was addictive - watching the tiny little stitches line up over and over is still magic to me, and in lace it's even better. Instant gratification, as long as you're gratified by a few rows at a time.

This is working up relatively small, which I'm happy about, since I'm on the short end of the bell curve. Knit on Addi lace needles, out of Yarn Place Gentle (only 5% cashmere but I swear I can feel it).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another gray day out here in the Richmond... we've been spoiled lately by really excellent sunny weather, so I can't complain now that the rain is back. Yesterday we had someone out to trim the trees on our sidewalk strip, and I was very impressed by his abilities to climb and saw and chop despite pretty consistent heavy rainfall. He did leave after the first tree and will be back again for the other; it was just too wet and chilly. Still quite impressive to me as I sat inside with my coffee and throw pillows.

I am definitely ready for spring, as evidenced by my recent purchase of samples from (I love perfume samples as a really cheap and easy treat. I've ordered samples from Aedes in the past, too, and have been impressed with each shop's selection.) This time around I tried a few by Commes des Garçons, who are known for being totally out there, just avante garde and really unusual. The scents I tried were Play, Rhubarb, and Sequoia. Sequoia was a little disappointing because it was so heavily cedar wood, and I just don't think of redwoods and cedars as smelling the same. At all. I'll have to try it again, on a cool foggy day, and see if my first impression stands up. Rhubarb I found simple and delicious, a possible full bottle buy, and Play was extremely interesting. I will have to try that one again as well, but on a sunny bright day. It's positively carbonated!

In a decidedly non-spring move, I've also been knitting quite a bit. There are babies on the way (none mine, mind you!), and little hats and socks to be completed. I also have two three lace projects on the needles, all of which I am enjoying immensely. There's Obstacles (rav) for Mr T, in a lovely color In Vino Veritas. Also a little woodland shawl based item for myself (it might be a cowl, I'm not sure yet) in an insanely gorgeous gold-green squishy delicious yarn. And finally the intimidating but very do-able Queen Silvia shawl (rav) which is going to take most of this year, if not all of it plus some of the next. It's so lovely that I don't mind - someday it will be a truly cherished piece of "omg, I did that?" knitting.

And in one more breakneck turn of topics, Formula One: I'm very disappointed by the decision to bring MacLaren in front of the FIA for possible fines. Backstory is that last year's world champion did something during this year's first race that was... questionable, but not obviously wrong. When asked by the media, he gave one account, and then when asked by the race stewards, he gave a different one, probably under instruction from his management. His team have already been docked all points for that race, and a senior member of his organization has been fired. Now the rulesmakers want to punish them further. I am no MacLaren fan, but I don't understand this. It sheds suspicious light on the FIA World Motor Sport Council, encouraging the existing perceptions that a) they truly support MacLaren's rival team Ferrari and aren't particularly neutral at all, or b) there is some institutional racism at play (the driver who provided false accounts is Lewis Hamilton, the first black driver in F1). Neither is flattering to the sport and I hope that they allow the current punishment, the removal of points, to stand as sufficient.