A nearly 2-week silence on the blog?!?! Sorry about that, folks. Sometimes life gets a little hectic, right? Work has been busy, and the secret knitting has been even busier, but luckily, I finished up my 2nd project this week and shipped it off to its rightful owner with a sigh of relief and a little thrill of excitement. I can’t wait to share all of these projects with you once I’m able. ‘Til then…..how about a pictorial of how we weathered Hurricane Irene?

Two Fridays ago, as the calm before the storm descended on the city, Andrew and I decided to go out to dinner, you know, just in case we were stuck inside for the next 13 days. From our perch at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Jade, we could see our apartment building looking peaceful in the evening sunset.

Calm

(I’m not a great photographer, but I just had to snap this picture, since it seemed like a cool juxtaposition of our new apartment building and the old railroad station walls of brick and stones that houses the restaurant.)

Once we got home, we double-checked all of our provisions, filled up our bathtubs to have potable water, did some laundry, watched way too much of the Weather Channel, packed our “go-bags” (what a silly term) for ourselves and Coco, and prepared for a wild weather weekend. Coco, for her part, made sure that all of her toys were accessible, because a hurricane weekend really just means that Coco is going to make Mommy play with Coco all weekend long.

Prepared

We awoke on Saturday to overcast skies, and the promise of coming rain. The rain definitely arrived before the winds. Our view to the North showed nothing more than a rainy day…

Storm

….but our view to the South and West held the warning of much more to come.

Storm

It is a bit hard to detect in just an iPhone photograph, but those clouds that have lead-gray bottoms seemed so heavy with rain that they were going to go right through buildings instead of over them.

Storm

Once the wind picked up, I spent a little bit of time watching it bend the trees on the street below. But frankly, that got a little boring, so I decided that I’d better make good use of this day indoors. I knew immediately what task needed doing, too, because I’d been putting it off for so long. That’s right, folks, it’s the dreaded and critically important task of every serious knitter: stash organization day. The day where you realize what excesses your habit has taken you to, and the day where you realize that you have numerous gems in your stash that really deserve to be knit instead of languishing in nondescript Tupperware tubs.

When I first began the task, I quickly became overwhelmed (this is common for me) and began to hyperventilate a bit (also, sadly, common). So I called my mother to tell her what a ridiculous hoarder I was, almost as a kind of confessional experience. In true maternal fashion, she ignored my whining and instead presented an organizational solution that was intelligent, not to mention obvious: store the yarn by thickness/weight so that (1) I’d know what my stash looked like for swatching purposes for my own designs, and (2) I’d know what yarn I had available to knit other projects for fun. Brilliant, I tell you, brilliant.

Stash

Here’s the worsted-weight and bulky-weight yarn pile, starting to take some semblance of shape. This is the yarn I have the least of, surprisingly, given that that is all I want to knit with as Autumn approaches, because thicker yarn = quicker results. I’ve already seen a couple of sweater/coat designs on Ravelry that I’d love to whip up while the weather calls for them. I also saw a couple of yarns that would work well for design submission ideas that I have kicking around in the old gray matter.

Stash

Stash

The two pictures above are the bulk of the DK- and sport-weight yarn, which I was also surprised to discover I have the most of. (See what I’m talking about? I’m surprised that I don’t own more worsted weight yarn and I’m surprised that I own so much DK weight yarn. This is what we call “buying whatever you like the looks of without a project in mind.” Apparently, I have a lot of DK designs and projects in my future.) If you knew how much of this alone was Madelinetosh Pashmina yarn, you’d either applaud my good taste or smack me for being so gluttonous. All I can say is: go ahead and try that yarn, and see if you don’t end up with 50 pounds of it, too.

Stash

Here’s a nice, organized pile of all of my laceweight and fingering weight yarns, that I LOVE for accessories like scarves, shawls, and socks. A lot of these skeins are single skeins, because that’s all you need for such projects. I’m sure that I have a lot of this because I just love the idea of creating something with one skein. It appeals to the minimalist in me (yes, the minimalist who is trying to organize all this yarn. I’m aware of the irony, thank you.) Snuggled up in here are definitely some skeins for fall and winter projects.

I must take a moment in all of this to thank my sister, who gifted me all of these big plastic containers. When I initially took these from her, I had them doubled up, so that I was using two containers, but with two more empty ones stacked underneath. I never thought I’d fill four of these. Well, folks, I did, and that was AFTER I thinned the herd with some yarns that need to be destashed/gifted/sold:

Stash

The wound skeins are perfect for swatching submissions and ideas, while the Lion Brand yarn bag (nearly 3 feet tall in its own right) is filled with destash. Destash that I still haven’t photographed and posted online. Sigh. One thing at a time, right? 🙂 At the end of this flurry of organizing, this is what I was left with:

Stash

I particularly like the delusional look of that top bin that is straining to be closed. Since that one is the fullest (the worsted/bulky bin), I put it on top to force myself to work from it first. This week, a design idea is GOING to be swatched from that bin!!! Please also note that these bins are neatly stacked in full view, instead of stored under the bed. I consider this a form of “public yarn shaming,” as my next door neighbor, fellow knitter, and good friend and I have decided to call this form of destashing. You’re less tempted to buy more yarn when YOUR ENTIRE STASH IS STARING YOU IN THE FACE. I’ve taken to calling it: “The Scarlet Y.” Ha.

After that flurry of self-imposed cleaning, we began to realize that maybe the hurricane wasn’t going to be that big of a deal. So we settled into the prospect of a very nice Saturday night at home. We cooked a scrumptious meal of marinated pork tenderloins and sauteed apples, which we washed down with some Belgian beer.

Pork

Apples

(We finished the apples with a glug of local maple syrup instead of white or brown sugar. It made a huge difference in the finished dish – I definitely recommend its smoky sweetness, which went well as a sauce for the pork!)

Bellies full, we watched the new “True Grit” film from last year by the Coen brothers (worth seeing!) and called it a night. By late the next morning, most of the rain had petered out and only the wind remained to keep us indoors. A day filled with knitting, video games, and snacking ensued. We certainly realize how lucky we were during this entire experience, as we didn’t lose power or suffer any damage. And when it was all over, we were treated to some beautiful views of the clearing sky beyond the fringes of the storm.

Storm

You can just make out midtown Manhattan in the far right, and downtown Manhattan in the center of the picture. They were clearly etched against the horizon, a sure sign that low humidity weather was pushing the hurricane away.

Clearing

Even to the North and West, a setting sun lit up the remaining clouds. And a beautiful sunset on Sunday night was our last memory of Irene.

Calm

Now that it’s Labor Day weekend, the entire summer feels like it was only one quick blast of sun, heat, and humidity. We’re still having a hot weekend here in NYC, but my thoughts have already turned to Fall, my favorite season, and I’m looking forward to the chill in the air. No doubt about it, as I age, I become a cooler weather person. I wonder if that’s strange? Maybe not for a knitter.

Have a wonderful long weekend and here’s to seeing/hearing more from me around these parts in the future! 🙂

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