Friday, March 30, 2007

Nashville '07...hold onto your hats!!

Nashville through pictures :)

The Bus Ride!

My dear friend, bus partner and fellow Euro (he's from London), Will Knox, finding himself very at home in TN!

Warner Brother Time, where we were based for the duration of the trip.

Sessions with Gillian Welsh and David Rawling (if you don't know them, they are amazing, look up their music!)...

...Janis Ian (while talking to her after the session, I poured a cup of cold coffee over my arm! I swear only I could do these things. "Hi, I love your music so much *pour*")

...Berklee does the Grand Ole Opry. We presented Loretta Lynn with an honourary Doctorate live on stage.

...Gretchen Wilson, who came to do a session later in the week

...Best live music ever...the guy in the front is a Berklee Alumni, Charlie Worsham, my friend, woohoo! The Station Inn is the place to go for live Bluegrass that just makes you want to get up and dance. It is the closest to 'home' I have felt since moving to America...suppose it's not that suprising considereing that Bluegrass is Irish trads. younger sibling :) yeay family!

So much fun, so much good music, lovely weather and a homely community, makes your heart feel light...

And lastly, but by no means least, the famous (or now maybe infamous) cowboy boot...(drumroll, please)...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Back in the swing of things


After a weekend of recovery, I should be back on the same planet as everyone else but, alas, I do not feel it. I promptly got sick on returning home from Nashville on Thursday. It was a great trip and I am at the moment compiling photos to post for your pleasure. I miss my Spring Break though. I feel entirely unrested and unmotivated, and would just like to take a big, long nap! I know that sounds entirely ungrateful and lazy. I don't understand it anymore than anyone else. I should be buzzing but I am not. Hopefully it will pass. Soon!

DB has finally arrived in the States, for good. He is posted down in NJ and is working away already. No rest for the wicked. Still haven't got to see him but hopefully sometime this week he will make it up to Boston for a few days. The knitting is coming along, slowly but surely. Will be posting pics of it too, got lots done with my socks in Nashville. Also I am really excited because I finally got a pair of cowboy boots while I was down there and they are gorgeous. I know, how cliche, but I love them and i was told by a Texan no less, that they are very authentic and not in the least bit touristy...*grin*

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nashville, Here I Come!

Well today I leave for Nashville, handing my Spring Break back over to my school and going to learn about the music industry there, meet amazing musicians, songwriters, engineers, producers and generally have a rockin', if tiring, time! It's not how I imagine spending what little down-time I have, but I am really looking forward to it. Surprisingly one of the most attractive parts of it is the 20 hour busride down with all my friends. Enforced sitting, music-listening, reading and knitting sounds like bliss right now.

I will have my laptop with me but am not sure how much time I will have to blog, so if I am a little absent this week please forgive me. I will however be around for emailing and commenting so I'm sure you'll see me about. I promise to take lots of pictures of Pari 'doin'-the-south'. Should be hilarious. St. Paddy's day in Tennesse...should be an experience :) I have a funny feeling I am definitely not in Kansas (a.k.a. Ireland...or surrogate Ireland called Boston!) anymore Toto!

I hope you all have a truly 'Irish' Paddy's day (f.y.i. I have heard it referred to as Patty's day...em, NO! His name was Patrick, shortened to Paddy...Patty is Marge's sister off the Simpsons, not a Saint). I want to hear all the goss when I get back :) and find out how long it took you to get over the hangover!

Have a lovely week everybody.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Monkey News Update

Here is a top I got from Urban Outfitters for $3...yes, that is correct, $3! I was proud of myself in the following ways -
1) I could have bought more than one top, but I didn't.
2) I could have bought it full price earlier in the week but decided not to and was duly rewarded later that week.
3) I bought something blue. I don't ever wear blue really because I don't think I suit it but I branched out, I think it looks great and it is the perfect Project Spectrum top for this month ;)

Next I give you the Ireland colours, though not in correct order. (this photo is shared for absolutely no reason whatsoever!)

This is a photo of the snowstorm in Boston last week and how beautiful this city can look when it snows. This week however has been gorgeous Spring weather, warm and breezy, and altogether climatically confusing, if that is even a phrase.

And lastly, some real news actually, a sad goodbye to a challenge that just wasn't going to work out. This is as far as I got with Pomatopmus before ripping them out a couple of days ago. They weren't going anywhere fast and I just wasn't happy with them so it was time for us to part ways, until I get a bit better at reading knitting charts.

The detail was gorgeous though and I will definitely be attempting this pattern again but I think I need to do it during a holiday when I have no other knitting to do. The Christmas knitting really killed it for me and once I lose my flow with something it takes a lot for me to get back into it. Speaking of getting back into things, I am having severe second-itis. I have one glove finished, one wristwarmer finished and one lace sock finished (for poor Ma who has been waiting forever!), the seconds are all cast-on and started but I have ground to a halt with all of them. And to make matters worse I haven't finished my shrug yet and I have cast on those Clessidra socks from the new Knitty that I want to knit but with a different cable down the back. That is going to be my project to take to Nashville with me and the 20 hour busride there so it will definitely get done, but the other poor souls languishing on my desk, beneath mounds of stuff, are not so lucky. I will get them done but I need to sort out all my knitting stuff. It is living in boxes and bags and driving me nuts. I don't work well when things get too disorganised. Oh well. I can't wait to have a pair of socks to wear thought that are all mine. I want to create something for myself.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I am grateful for...

- Kolya
- snow
- knitting
- Boston in the Spring
- clean water
- sunshine
- Music! and lyrics
- clean air
- films
- real post
- the smell of fresh laundry
- my bed
- my vintage boots that are so high and yet so comfortable
- new stationary (yeah, I'm a nerd)
- algebra (don't even ask...)
- Ireland
- mountains
- adventures
- aeroplanes
- my crazy siblings
- my parents, though I wouldn't like to admit it to them
- dark chocolate
- city life
- country life
- being able to live in both
- my health
- sleep
- laughter
- tea
- yarn!
- pretty bras and underwear (noone said my list had to make sense)
- fairies...magic...imagination
- mascara and my long lashed to put it on
- being unique, but still having people who understand me (if you are reading this, I mean you!)

hmmmm, I feel good right now.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Knitting myself back together...

The new Knitty is out and my word, it is phenomenal!

Particularly interesting is an article about mindful knitting and the art of knitting as meditation and a means to connect with your inner-self. This article felt a little like it wasa written just for me. I think I am going to have to print it out and stick it on my wall. I have been having a down week, and for no apparent reason as things aren't too stressful at school and I have Spring Break to look forward to. But for some reason I can't seem to shake this black cloud over my head, this omnious feeling that something is wrong or shifted off centre inside me. I feel a bit crazy to be honest. I really don't know what to say. But this article was really inspiring and made me feel better about knitting in general, that is was part of my 'keeping-myself-together' process, rather than just a hobby.

I also REALLY loved the article about yarn dyeing and immediately went out and bought food colouring when I was finished reading it. Just have to save up to get some yarn to dye. I really want to try and make a colourway for Project Spectrum, with this months colours. I am also excited to dye a colourway especially for DB so I can knit him some socks, he is never usually too enamored with colourways for 'men'. I think I will start with superwash, no chance of felting the stuff, and see what happend. I am really excited to see what I can do.

I decided to do a quick bit of photography today as I walked home from school, even though it was nearly -8 celsius (don't even ask me what that is Fahrenheit, something REALLY cold). The sky was that gorgeous deep blue it only gets in a perfectly cloudless night as the sun sets, and against of the Christian Science Centre buildings it was just too good to pass up. I was experimenting with light and manipulating it to create different images than what I was photography. I am thinking now that I could base a few colourways of some of these photos...perfect maybe for my Project Spectrum ones.

This one is actually of a star. How it made this particular shape, I'm not sure, but it was very windy and absolutely freezing so my hands were not the steadiest. Fastest photo shoot ever, I was done in 10 minutes and my hands were completely numb, not to mention the rest of me.

This and the photo below look how music sounds to me.

I think this one looks like one of those old-fashioned Victorian ballgowns, with the corseted waists, pinched in to nothing and then ballooning out into an extravagant bell shaped shirt. Can anyone else see it?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Magic of March

The start of March is always an exciting time for me. It marks the last month in the Baha'i calendar, which is a period of fasting that ends with the Baha'i New Year on the 21st of March. Incidently the 21st March is also the Spring Equinox, the official changing of the seasons :) Yeay!

From the 2nd until the 20th of March inclusive, Baha'i fast from sunrise until sunset, not eating or drinking during daylight hours. While this might sound really unnecessarily taxing, I find it a time of great energy. It is an amazing way of cleansing the body, giving yourself a chance to clear away all those toxins that have accumulated during the year. It is also a way of showing self-will, that you are not a slave to cravings or munchy attacks but can pace and control yourself in this gentle way. I find that the hardest thing for me is the late afternoons when I start to get a bit tired but all in all I find it a great experience. And interestingly, it is not the 'food' aspect that is most important. It is a time of spiritual reflection and recuperation, to take stock and refresh yourself. So whether you fast or not (there are lots of instances when you are excempt from fasting...nursing, heavy labour, travelling, on your period, under 15 yrs old, etc) it is still a time to reflect on the year past spiritually and what you hope for in the new year. You can find more information on the Baha'i Fast here.

And at the end of the fast, my favourite holiday...Naw-Ruz! The Baha'i new year. Man, I love it. It is also the Persian new year and the Spring Equinox. The Baha'is throw big parties, give gifts (Amu Naw-Ruz was the 'Santa' equivilent in Persian culture...Amu means uncle in Persian. He even looked like Santa, with a red and white suit and a long beard. We used to joke in my house that he and Santa were obviously brothers, one for the West, one for the East!) and generally have a roaring good time.

One of my favourite traditions for Naw-Ruz, which is more part of the Persian tradition of celebrating Naw-Ruz (the Baha'i communities celebrate it anyway they see fit according to their culture), but it is the Haft Sin. It is a table set with seven items all beginning with the letter 'S' in Persian and representing life, rebirth, Spring, etc. Goldfish are a really common item but for some reason my family always killed our goldfish, they never survived longer than a week. No clue why, very sad...poor Goldie, Silver and Goldie II.

Unfortunately it has been years since I was home for Naw-Ruz, and this year again I will be somewhere different with no other Baha'is about probably. Bummer. But still, it is such a fun time of year. I time to be happy. A time to meditate and reconnect with your spiritual life if, like me, you have been drifting away recently. It is a time for family and friends. And I was thinking, I am 21 now. Maybe it is time that I start making my own Naw-Ruz traditions, making this time of year special for myself even if my family or friends who celebrate it aren't around. I think it is time for me to own Naw-Ruz for myself and one day share that with my own family.

I think this year is going to be really important for me. I have only really become a Baha'i in my own right recently. I was raised a Baha'i but for a long time was just kind of drifting, exploring other things, being an inquistive young person as young people should be. It was especially interesting, and hard in a way, being in a relationship with someone who didn't really practice or identify himself with anything. I always respected my upbringing but was worried that I was just believing what my parents told me and not thinking independently. It is so hard sometimes to know what is actually yours and what has been handed down to you. Recently though I have been reconnecting with my faith, seeing it for myself, by myself and realising how much I love it. It is open and flexible, allows me to embrace and explore other religions and philosophies, and I believe it has really helped shape the person I am. Sometimes I got frustrated or lose focus, but it is always there for me, and that seems like something worth hanging round for.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I adore natural fibers (suprise, suprise!), though to be honest I will knit with just about anything so long as it's not novalty yarn. I have been using lots of blends recently, mainly for the handy machine washable possiblity.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a lovely circular needles case and my straights live in my flower vase when there are no flowers in it.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned to knit from my Ma when I was 3/4 years old and knitted on and off during my childhood. I really got into it again however, during my first year of college. I would consider myself a intermediate to advanced knitter

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent?
I love lavender, ylang-ylang and jasmine. Don't like super strong scents, sensitive wee nose, and synthetic scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I loooooooove dark chocolate! I am also a huge fane of jellys (not sure what they call them in America), wine gums and Haribo. Basically anything sweet is good!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I really want to learn how to spin, it is my goal for the year. I also crochet and sew.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I can play all music formats. As a music student I am open to all genres of music and love hearing new things and discovering new styles. Please feel free to make me a mix of YOUR favourite songs and artists, so I can hear something different than my same old itunes collection and learn a little about you too :)

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love bold, bright and deep colours. Basically any colour so long as it is NOT pastels. I am particularly partial to greens, green-blues and deep purples.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I come from a big family (I'm the eldest of 4) but am currently at college so it is just me and the flatmate. I don't have any pets but I love cats and hope to have one in the not-too-distant future.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, yes, yes and only if it doesn't make me look like a house.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love to knit socks, jumpers (sweaters)...em, basically anything actually so long as it's knitted :)

13. What are you knitting right now?
I am currently working on 2 pairs of socks, a pair of gloves, a shrug for Spring and a pair of wristwarmers. I don't usually have so many projects on the go at once, I hate having unfinished things, but I got a little too ambitious over Presidents Day weekend and started loads of things, as well as the projects I had going on.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
I love handmade gifts. I believe that they are the most thoughtful and heartfelt gifts you can give.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I like bamboo or wood needles but the student budget doesn't stretch to them right now. I work with both straights and circulars.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Nope, neither. Definitely in need of a winder though.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Em, socks for my Mother that were meant to be for Christmas but still aren't finished. Also the second wristwarmer...I am having severe second-itis.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
I love the Baha'i New Year, which is the 21st March (it's also the Spring Equinox). It is called Naw-Ruz and is a time of partying and gift giving in the Baha'i community. I will be posting more information on it in my blog soon if you want to learn more, or feel free to ask me questions.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
I love things to do with fairies (my name means fairy/angel in Persian). I like cats, as I mentioned before, and I am a jewellery fiend, particularly earrings......mmmmmmhhh jewellery-lcious! Oh and being Irish, I love tea and anything to do with tea!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't have any subscriptions. I really like Rowan books and magazines, particularly the Big knits series and the new Felting book that looks brilliant. I don't know that much about what's out there so being introduced to something new that you recommend would be great. I have always wanted a pair of those sock blockers, think they look great and v. practical.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I really want to learn how to spin. I would also like to learn how to dye my own yarn. And knitting socks on 2 circular needles...looks like magic to me!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I am, I love socks! I have a ladies size 7/8 US and a size 5 UK. Don't remember what that is European (oh dear, I have been away from home too long :P )

23. When is your birthday?
9th June, 1985

Please feel free to ask me ANYTHING else you like!