Crazy Dog

K.C. is quite the dog. The other morning I walked into my bedroom and saw this:

Yes, our crazy dog had arranged his three tennis balls (that he carries around in his mouth all at one time) in a perfectly straight line.

And here is yet another gratuitous pet photo...


Knitting Library Essentials: Technique

This may surprise you, but I have a few knitting books.

If you only buy one knitting technique book EVER, make it Nancie Wiseman's Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques. This book walks through a manageable number of cast-ons, bind-offs, increases, decreases, seams, button bands, and other finishing techniques. She explains the pros and cons of each, which increase/cast on matches which decrease/bind off, and when to use a particular technique. The illustrations are fanastic in that they show, for example, exactly what an SSK decrease is supposed to look like as well as exactly how to do one.

I find The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques waaaaay more helpful than Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting. The Knitter's Handbook contains 1-2 sentence descriptions of each technique, sometimes including a very vague drawing. While the Knitter's Handbook includes many more techniques (over 30 ways to cast on!) the depth is overwhelming for someone who wants a useful resource for quick questions. I usually can't make heads or tails of the instructions and eventually turn to Nancie Wiseman's book.


Albuquerque Favorites: Slate Street Cafe

Have I talked about the Slate Street Cafe yet? Well pull up a chair!

Slate Street Cafe is a fabulous new(ish) restaurant behind the metro court house. It's one block north of Lomas, between 5th and 6th on... you guessed it... Slate Street. Everything I've had has been fantastic. If you haven't been yet, GO! NOW!

Slate Street does breakfast every day of the week, and Brunch on Saturday. The coffee is outstanding, and they also offer fresh squeezed OJ, smoothies, teas, and mimosas. My favorite breakfast/brunch option is the french toast- brioche stuffed with bananas and cooked so that it's crunchy on the outside and hot mushy goodness on the inside. A full order of their french toast or pancakes is murder-so much food- but they do have a half-order option (just ask!) Meg is devoted to their huevos rancheros, which are smothered in Duran's chile. MMMMMMMM. Their white cheddar hash browns are also great. If you're interested in something lighter, a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal would hit the spot as well.

Lunch gets really busy, and rather slow. If you can't get there before 11:45, come after 1:00 or you'll be stuck waiting for a table. In short, this is not a fast place for weekday lunch. But if you have a little time, it's worth it.

The prices are lower than Flying Star, and I think the food is waaaaay better. I love their chopped chicken salad- crunchy veggies like carrot and celery, cooked chicken breast, and really tangy vinegary dressing. Their grilled salmon salad is also excellent. I also like the fish and chips (beer battered salmon with house made potato chips- mmm). I obviously need to spend some quality lunch hours exploring the rest of the menu.

Slate Street recently opened for dinner. The only time I went for dinner we ordered off the appetizer menu. As usual, everything was great. The prices are higher in the evening, but the menu is different and I'm sure worth every penny. Slate Street has a good wine list, and the atmosphere is so great- casual, but very cool.

Finally, Slate Street has a Wine Loft open above the main restaurant. The loft serves wine, beer, and (I think) regular cocktails, and the bar menu features fabulous nibbles and an abbreviated version of the dinner menu. This is a great place to hang out after work in the evening.


This IS a knitting blog after all....

And now for something completely different....

Actual KNITTING content!

May I present... Jaywalkers!

Pattern: Jawyalkers, from MagKnits October 2005
Needles: Size 1 Crystal Palace DPNs
Yarn: Vesper Sock Yarn by Julia of Knitterly Things (purchased from kpixie) in color Sweetwater.

I did the bigger size, and they STILL came out way too small for my feet, so I gifted them to an appreciative friend who wears a size 7. I am a really tight knitter, and these are not stretchy socks, so I guess this result was inevitable!

This was a great pattern, though hard to get a good fit. I might attempt a second pair in the hopes that they'll fit my size 9 feet, but then again, might not.


London was Fabulous, Part 3

Friday morning I went by Buckingham Palace and wandered through the adjacent gardens.

I spent the rest of the morning at the V&A, an absolutely amazing museum. I could spend WEEKS there (along with thousands of dollars in their gift shop!)

Friday was St. Patrick's Day,and the restaurant in Havery Nichols featured an Irish- themed prix fixe lunch (prix fixe not cheap!) It was a fab lunch- kir royale, followed by Irish oysters, lamb stew with a nice burgundy, and rhubarb crumble. Cost a small fortune, but made for a very happy tummy.

After lunch, I cruised Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

Then I napped before heading out to see the Royal Shakespeare Company do "As You Like It." This was a highlight of my trip! I LOVE Shakespeare, and it was great to see the pros do it.

Saturday morning was more of a shopping day than a culture day. I started off at the Portobello Road market, which was a mob scene. Then cruised New Bond Street, feeling very rediculous wandering in and out of stores where the cheapest object for blocks was a $100 t-shirt. But it was fun nonetheless. I tried to get tea at the French Patisserie on the first floor of Harrod's, but it was overrun with tourists and the service was AWFUL.

I did cruise a couple knitting destinations on Saturday. I went to WearDowney's Getup Boutique in Marylebone. These people are serious knitters who are serious about fashion. A very nice shop, but I can't see myself paying the prices they ask, given that I know how to knit. However, it was nice to see what quality handknits can sell for! I also went to Patricia Roberts in Knightsbridge, a really ritzy neighborhood. The store is filled with bright, happy knits in fun, if somewhat dated, styles. Patricia Roberts also produces her own line of yarns, and of COURSE I had to bring some home:

These are 100% lambswool, probably a fingering or sport weight yarn. Love love love the colors. I think these will probably become latvian mittens for moi.

So.... That was my trip to London! It was a BLAST. I definitely want to go back.


London was Fabulous, Part 2

Thursday morning I woke up early and headed in to town again. Thursday was cold, damp, windy, and cloudy. It never actually rained, just sort of spit every once in a while.

After breakfast, I headed back to the Houses of Parliament.

I also toured Westminster Abbey, which was amazing. It felt strange that the entire perimiter of the building was a series of tombs (Notre Dame in Paris is preodminantly chapels, not tombs), but it was neat to see where Elizabeth I was buried, as well as the Poets' Corner where so many of England's literary giants were memorialized.

After finishing up at Westminster, I walked along the Thames to Embankment, where I took part of the Thames River boat cruise that was included with my bus tour package. I got off the boat when it stopped at the Globe Theater, which I was dying to see. The Globe is fantastic. A free tour is included with the admission price, and I got there just as a tour was leaving. Our guide was wonderful- an older woman with a fabulous sense of humor, who loved the Bard, the Globe, and the whole project so much it was contaigious. I'm so glad I got to see the theater and have such a great tour!

Next I headed to the Tate Modern, which was right next door to the Globe. This was an incredible museum, though I don't much care for modern art. I love the really abstract stuff, like Calder, Miro, and Rothko, and the collection was fairly heavy on surrealists and other stuff that just doesn't do it for me. I had lunch at the cafe on the top floor of the museum, which was amazing. The museum is located right on the Thames, across the river from St. Paul's Cathedral. The cafe is on the top floor, and has glass exterior walls, providing for an absolutely astounding view. The food was pretty good, too.

I then walked across the Millenium Bridge and up to St. Paul's Cathedral.

(This would have been SUCH a great picture if my camera hadn't crapped out!)

After touring the Cathedral, I went to Islington, a very cool, not very touristy neighborhood with tons of fabulous shops and restaurants. I want to go back and explore this area in more detail. I wasn't wandering aimlessly, however, I was on a mission: a YARN mission. Loop is a fabulous little yarn store located just off the main drag between the Angel and Highbury tube stops. The store is cozy and bright, and stocks some fabulous yarns. Mostly Debbie Bliss, but lots of smaller labels as well. I broke the yarn diet and bought some yarn... Very expensive yarn. But it's London yarn, so who cares! I got one ball of the Be Sweet Ribbon Yarn in Eau de Nil, a beautiful seafoam green mohair boucle with bronze colored ribbons tied at various intervals, and one ball of HipKnits Hand-dyed Cashmere Sock Yarn in a bright teal. It's gorgeous.

After the yarn binge, I walked up to Arsenal soccer stadium to get a souvenir for the boyfriend (oh yeah- did I mention we're not broken up? Yeah.)

Then I headed to Liberty, one of London's major department stores. Liberty is home to a famous fabric and yarn department that stocks Rowan fabrics (Kaffe Fassett's patterns are amazing) and Rowan and Jaeger yarns. The arrangement was so spectacular- they carry the fully Rowan line in every color, and it's all arranged by hue. I wanted to get a picture, but I felt stupid taking photos of a wall of yarn, and there were too many people milling around for me to get a decent shot. I met up with the Rowanettes, who meet twice a month in the Art Bar Cafe at Liberty for knitting and noshing. What a great group of gals! I wish I could find their online forum... Anyway, the group was so weloming- it was nice to sit and chat with some like-minded fiber addicts!

I was only able to stay with the Rowanettes for an hour, becuase I wanted to catch a baroque classical music concert at St. Martin's In the Fields. The concert was fantastic- great music in a beautiful church lit by candlelight! Had a great salad downstairs in the Cafe in the Crypt- by far the cheapest meal I had, and the food was fantastic.

So that was my Thursday in London!


London was Fabulous, Part 1

I had such a great trip. 4 days was just about the right amount of time to go by myself and become acquainted with the city.

This was a trip of running in to random people at the airport. When I left on Tuesday, I ran in to a fellow law student who was also on my flight to Minneapolis. Once I got on the plane, I discovered that I was sitting next to my pre-school teacher (random!) It was great to catch up with her, 25 years later. On the way home on Sunday, I saw Beverly of PoMo Golightly and another gal from the other Tuesday night knitting group.

Anyway, I managed to sleep most of the flight between Minneapolis and London, and hit the ground running when I arrived. I stayed at the Abbey House in Kensington, which was great. Utilitarian, but clean, friendly staff, great neighborhood. It's about a five minute walk from both Kensington High Street and Notting Hill Gate tube stops, so was close to everything but still fairly quiet as it wasn't near a main road. I checked in to my hotel, showered, and went out to see the sights!

I took one of the bus tours to get the lay of the land. It was really neat to drive past all these famous buildings... The bus tour took us past all the major sights- houses of parliament/Big Ben, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Oxford Circus, Baken Street, etc. etc. etc.

After the bus tour, I headed back towards Kensington and wandered through Kensington Gardens and near Kensington Palace, where Lady Di lived after the divorce. The gardens were gorgeous. Even though the weather was coooold and windy, crocus blooms had pushed their way through the grass.

I had tea at the Orangery, located in the gardens, and it was fantastic. I had orange blossom tea, half a cucumber sandwiche, a scone with clotted cream and jam, and a small slice of their orange cake. This was by far the best tea I had- highly recommended.

After tea, I wandered through the gardens and headed to Kensington High Street, where there were a ton of really nice shops. I browsed the insanely expensive clothing and shoes, then had fish and chips and a beer at a pub whose name I can't remember, and crashed around 9:00.



London was FAB. U. LOUS.

Love it.

I'll do a more detailed post after some of the jet lag has worn off. I want to include pictures, but my camera is in my suitcase which is en route from Minneapolis- apparently didn't get booked all the way through when I checked in at Gatwich (which was a mob scene- I can understand how the mistake happened!!!) Should be here this afternoon. Alas, all my purchases (including yarn- soooo broke the yarn diet) are also in the suitcase.

I really had a fantastic trip. Details later!


Aaaaaaaaaand she's off!

Bye all! See you next week when I get back from London! (EEEE! so excited!)


An even bigger YES!

My tax return got here- that's an extra large chunk of cash for my trip! YAY!

Fabulous New Mexico Resource

Even better than Duke City Fix is What's The Dish?. The Dish has an e-mail newsletter and an RSS feed, so you can get the dish however you like it. The Dish features openings and restaurant reviews, "dishcounts" at cool local stores, and other info for people who want to know what's shaking in New Mexico. Check it out!



I am NOT getting published- what a relief! I am so freaking glad to be done with that stupid law review article. Hallelujah for being denied the opportunity to rewrite this freaking thing 57 more times over the next six months. Whew!


Note To Self

I get so peeved with people who jump into the middle of a topic without providing adequate background or context, especially when those people are communicating to a group of people who may or may not know anything about the subject.

I need to remember this as an attorney- jurors haven't been living, breathing, sleeping my case like I have. It's imporant to introduce them to everything I take for granted. The basic facts. The basic law. How all the pieces fit together. Things that make sense to me after months of sorting and thinking will not be obvious to the jury. Or the judge, for that matter.


Future Knitting Possibilities

I get a bit overwhelmed when I think about all the yarn in my stash. I am actually thinking about extending my yarn diet beyond the current May 15 date (except London... But that's another story for another time.

But there's nothing really calling my name right now. I'm not feeling particularly knitty, perhaps because of the weather (over 70 degrees here! ugh!) and perhaps because I know I should be focusing on school work, not knitting. Ah well.

Still plugging away on the second jaywalker sock- made some gooood progress last night during the Oscars!


Ocsar Knit!

Ya'll have got to go visit Purl Needlemeyer's place on SUNDAY- she's hosing Oscar Knit, where you can VOTE for the best knit of the year. Very clever- a definite must see for Sunday afternoon browsing.

Here’s a preview:

Cast Your Vote:
Which of these will win the Oscar for Best Picture?

Berocco Mountain - A touching love story about a strong worsted weight yarn named Suede who falls for Lavish, a fanciful eyelash, who just wants to ride along with Suede into the sunset.

Good Knit and Good Luck - A crisply paced docudrama in which a seasoned TV reporter takes on the conservative crochet movement of the 1950's, attempting to help a group of knitter who are blacklisted when they refuse to make poodle-covered gin bottles and toilet paper cozies.

Clapotis - A riveting drama about an avant-garde author who travels to the Midwest, wraps himself up in a little French shawl and quickly reveals everyone's biases.

Stash - A moving morality piece set in L.A. that asks the question: can leftover skeins of acrylic and remnant wool all live together in a world without their labels?

Muknitch - All hell breaks lose in this action packed thriller as knitters are taken hostage by the Harlot’s Olympic challenge.

And the Oscar goes to....


YAY London!


I'm definitely going to see "As You Like It" by the Royal Shakespeare Co. I adore Shakespeare. Already bought my ticket, too, for Friday night. Woohoo!

I'm staying in Kensington at a cute little B&B. Didn't realize that March 1 is the start of the summer season when prices go up! Doh! Still, this place has gotten great reviews, looks absolutely adorable, and is relatively inexpensive (~$75 a night).

Also want to hit the V&A Museum, as I come from a looooong line of antique dealers and their specialty is decorative arts. Following this same genetic deformity of loving to look through dusty piles of junk for the rare undiscovered treasures, I hope to spend Saturday morning in Portobello Road/Notting Hill area trolling the flea markets for fab finds. Although, I hear it's a ZOO on the weekends, so maybe I'll try to do this on Friday morning...

AND, Marie-France, recipient of my Sockapaltwoza socks, e-mailed to let me know that the Rowanettes are meeting Thursday night while I'm in town. SO. EXCITED. ABOUT. THIS.