Tag Archives: secret

Sleep No More

When I was in New York in late August (just before I started school), I was lucky enough to attend Sleep No More with Emily, who had been before. So I had enough of a guide to tell me what I needed to know to make my experience a complete one:

A 1930s hotel. You must not take anything inside. You must not speak. You must wear your mask. You have three hours. And while you may be frightened on occasion, nothing will jump out at you.

Inside: Shakespeare’s Macbeth meets Hitchcock’s Rebecca and it’s all told through dance (did someone put together a show based on my favorite things?). What follows is a theatrical experience unlike any other because it is fully what you make of it. If you are not sprinting down the stairs in pursuit of a character, you are in my way. I’m still having vivid dreams about this “show.” Like so many others, I long to return to Manderley.

Get in the mood, loves. This is a long one. (So long, I’ve had to break it up into two posts. Part II coming soon)

Someone compiled the soundtrack

I may not have been able to take anything in (there’s a $3 coat/bag check), but here’s what I came out with.

Sleep No More Artifacts

Artifacts from Sleep No More (Bible verse of salt, Aces card, McKittrick Hotel business card, audience mask) August 25, 2012

WARNING: Spoilers follow!

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Cuddle Blanket: The Making Of

The Story of a 10 Month Secret Knitting Project

Blanket in ProgressAs soon as I heard my best friend, Ailey, was getting married (so some time in January 2010), I started to think about the perfect present. I couldn’t just get something off the registry. I love giving gifts. The perfect gift is an incredible thing – a chance thing that combines something-I-need-but-didn’t-know-it with she-knows-who-I-am. I wanted to put love into this gift. The thing was, not only was this my best friend getting married, but the guy she was marrying, Adam, is perfect for her. I wanted to show how much I felt that. How much I blessed them and was excited for this new chapter of their relationship.

The thing I know how to make – because it was clear to me that the perfect gift was going to be something I made – is knitted stuff. So of course I turned to Ravelry. I hunted using various now-forgotten keywords for wedding gifts and came to realize that the general best knitted wedding present is a blanket. Who doesn’t love cuddling under a warm knitted blanket?

The Pattern

Thing was, most of the results for “wedding blanket” or somesuch were lacy, frilly, loveydovey patterns. And those just aren’t Ailey and Adam. I couldn’t see them using such a fussy thing. Plus, lace blankets have that toes-getting-stuck-in-the-weave problem. Ick. No.

So I started searching just for blankets and bingo – the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne (Mason-Dixon Knitting). It was perfect. Easily personalized with color choice while being a solid modern pattern. It looks like this pattern is available for free download even if you’re not on Ravelry. The book Mason-Dixon Knitting is also available for purchase on Amazon. The pattern is given both for adult and baby size blankets. The adult-size blanket calls for 9 blocks using 4 colors of yarn.

The Yarn

The thing Ravelry excels at is showing all the different ways you can come at a pattern by linking everyone’s projects to the pattern. I spent about a month reviewing color choices, yarns, and borders (unfortunately one of the ones that influenced me the most doesn’t have photos on Flickr. Ravelry-only link). Early in March, I decided upon Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Solids & Heathers (yes, that Vanna, as in White. She’s a crocheter). It’s soft, machine washable AND dryable, comes in a wide variety of colors, affordable (important when you’re buying enough to make a queen-size blanket). I mocked up a few options to share with a small, trusted circle. We decided on option 3.

Color Options for Secret Blanket

#1: Beige, Dusty Blue, Toffee, Espresso #2: Beige, Dusty Blue, Toffee, Silver Blue #3: Beige, Dusty Blue, Espresso, Silver Blue

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Secret Project Revealed!

I’ve announced it on Twitter so may as well post it here now too: Tonight I gave my best friend and her new husband the present I’ve been working on since April – an adult-size Modern Log Cabin blanket.

Modern Log Cabin BlanketI have the process documented on Ravelry so I will soon be writing a longer post with more pictures.

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Home Stretch

I have been very quiet because I have been doing basically nothing worth mentioning other than working on the secret project. Hours and hours every night for the past few months. It’s ALMOST done. Should have photos and stories with the reveal in the next week!

Hints: For this project I have learned two (probably more, but for now just these) new skills. Intarsia (colowork) and invisible cast-on! If I wanted to make a sweater with hearts, skulls, and panda faces, I now could.

It’s not completely true that nothing else has been happening, but in terms of my knitting and social life, that’s pretty much true. Dance has been holding excitement lately so there are several things I’ve been meaning to post about that I will get around to after the giant knitting project has been completed and celebrated.


May? June? Where’d the time go?

It’s not for lack of things happening that I haven’t written. I’ve been too busy and the knitting project I’m deep into is a secret one so there’s not much I can say about it.

Just a sample of the things that have happened in May and June:

  • SF Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet (for Mother’s Day)
  • First SF Ravelry Meet-up (a ton of fun and a very successful event)
  • Attempting to start the snapdragon mitts and failing miserably (will try again later)
  • Picked up and cast aside a new form of exercise
  • Vassar 5-year Reunion trip to New York with Casey
  • Finally using the yarn swift and ball winder (which I can’t get enough of now)

Some pictures to prove I’ve been busy! (more after the break)

Finished Yarn Wranglers Anemone Pin

Finished Yarn Wranglers Anemone Pin

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Massive Update

Oh so many things to write about!

1- I got my yarn swift and ball winder in the mail from KnitPicks! The sweet people there even gave me a price adjustment since the swift went on sale a mere 10 days after I bought mine. Hey, 41% off is 41% off!

2- I am only 9 rows (including bind-off) from finishing the Daybreak shawl! I know, what am I waiting for!? Oh, those rows have gotten long what with all the increases so just doing one row takes me a whole TV episode on Hulu. Jeez, that’s a lot of weekend to spend sitting in one place, even if it is raining. So I’m taking it slow, even though I really can’t wait to wear the bugger.

3- The yarn for my secret project arrived and I can’t wait to get started on it. I won’t be saying much about it here since (hee hee) it’s a secret! Will be posting progress notes on Ravelry, though.

4- I asked at Yarn Wranglers (knitting group) about what to do with my poor FLS sweater since the shaping I did was so off and the answer is…rip back. Yup, all the way back to the yoke. I have had my argh moments this week, but now I’m thinking if I have to rip all the way back I might just make a whole new sweater. I mean, I know me. If I have a sweater, it better button all the way up or I’ll just be freezing. I love the color so there’s no question that I want to make the Dream in Color yarn into a sweater still, but maybe a new pattern will be good for my mental state. It’s not like I’ll just be redoing it then. I learned a lot from this first sweater. Now it’s time to do something different.

5- Yarn Wranglers are making flower pins for the SF Ravelry meet-up on May 16th. I’m narrowing down the pattern options and will probably take breaks from the secret projects to whip up that pin so there will be pictures still!

6- Oh, right, dance! Class is fun stuff still (of course) and I got to see San Francisco Ballet do The Little Mermaid in March with Ailey. It was beautiful. Very modern. Hope to write down some thoughts in another post soon (perhaps one with pictures of some of the 5 exciting items above)!

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I’ve been knitting and dancing around the edges lately, just eking out progress where I can. I have managed to get 9 stripes of shawl in (so I’m up to a grand total of 25, not bad), have been completely ignoring the sweater (oh, shaping, someday), and missing more dance class than I’d like.

But we did do a combo over this past two weeks that I just loved – it felt like a marionette trying to steal the strings from the puppetmaster…and every now and again winning. Very cheeky. I dance better when I have a story in my head. Also, did an adagio this past week to Massive Attack’s “Saturday Come Slow”, which is on the new album Heligoland that I can’t stop listening to.

I’ve been a bit nutty about shopping lately – picking up new pieces to take my wardrobe out of college and that weird transition into working life and into an adult style that actually suits me – so buying yarn for that secret new project is waiting just a bit. Not like I don’t have enough to work with!

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Secret Project: Colors

Shhh it’s a secret. The only thing I’ll say for now is these are the colors I’m considering.

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