Sunday, May 20, 2007


Of course I've been busy with work, but I have found time to have some fun lately.

One of the pleasures of living in a large city is the range of experiences and diversions open to you. Last night, I went with my friends Rachael and Shannon to the Music Box Theatre for one of the strangest and memorable experiences I've ever had.

I always enjoy attending a film at the Music Box. While the management has found a way to wedge in a small screening room where they show a few films, most movies are screened in a well-preserved example of the grand old cinemas that were the norm in the first half of the 20th century. OK, the original seats aren't as comfy as those found in the modern cineplex, but the beautiful interior is a treat.

Music Box also shows films that you just can't see anywhere else in Chicago. I remember seeing Guillermo del Toro's film Cronos at the Music Box in 1993 and being entertained by a live organ performance before the film started. Last summer Mark and I went there to see The War Tapes (which I highly recommend).

Last night Music Box presented a live performance of Brand Upon the Brain!. I'm still not sure how to interpret this film, but the performances were fantastic and the experience was, as I said, very memorable. I don't think there was an empty seat in the house, and it was a lot of fun to have the Foley artists right below the screen so I could see how they made some of sound effects. Who knew what a key role celery plays in horror films!

We had beautiful weather yesterday, too, so it was quite a treat to sit outside at Julius Meinl for a pre-movie nosh. The sandwiches were good, but the Millenium Torte was awesomely yummy!

I wish I could say that I spent the splendid day working in my garden, but I can't. I still have no beds in place for my vegetables, and I'm starting to get a bit annoyed by the delay. Apparently the landscaper wants to time things such that the crew is here to complete the entire job -- hardscaping the yard (including building the veggie beds) and putting in the ornamentals -- and not have to come back again to finish. She's waiting for the dreaded 17-year cicadas to emerge, mate, and die before kicking off the project.

Instead of working in the garden, I spent the gorgeous day indoors yesterday learning Japanese short rows at a Windy City Knitting Guild workshop. I've worked short rows before, but I was very pleased to learn this new techinque which makes much, much better results for me.

I'm still working on the Lift and Separate wrap sweater and the same pair of Tofutsies socks. I haven't had a lot of knitting time lately, so my WIPs are going quite slowly. I'm in the finishing stage of the sweater but there's just a lot of finishing involved for this sweater, including knitting and sewing on the edging, and knitting the side ties. K1P1 ribbing is just not a fast knit for me.

Typically I don't showcase photos of yarn but I just can't resist showing this off.

Recycled and handpainted cashmere yarnIt's a "reclaimed" yarn from Allspunup on Etsy. She unraveled the yarn from a sweater, washed and set the yarn, plied it to make a slightly thicker yarn, and then handpainted it. This is a fingering weight yarn that I'm going to use to make a small shawl/scarf for myself. The price was very reasonable, and she was super fast in getting it to me: I ordered on a Friday and had it in my hands on Monday.

I think Etsy is my newest obsession...

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