Phoenix Knitting

Posted by mmmshado on September 25, 2006

It’s a well known fact among the people who know me that I don’t have much “sticktoitiveness.” I tried sewing and then a week later sold my sewing machine. I changed my major at least 20 times (and the way it looks possibly 20 times more). I went to the gym every day for a week and now haven’t been in months. But when it comes to knitting, I just keep on plugging away. 2 weeks ago I came up with nothing short but a disaster of a sock. Huge gaping holes in the short row heel. Now I find myself with a perfectly unholy heel but huge gaps in the join from heel to instep for the foot.

 Well, as always, misocrafty comes to the rescue. She gave me an idea for that which I will promptly be fixing. Surprisingly enough, I’m sticking with something and planning on putting as much effort needed into getting one (at least) complete and wearable sock. I feel that each failure I make with these socks is making me a better knitter. I’m arising from my mistakes and making positives out of them.

 So now as I sit here waiting for system updates at work, all I can think is “Yeah, that’s right, I’m updating and don’t care what anyone thinks” Why such a strange attitude? It’s this perfection kick I always want to have. Sometimes I want every word in a post (or every stitch in a sock) to be absolutely perfect but then of course I realize there’s nothing to learn in a situation like that.  Here’s an example of imperfection of mine:


The world of dishcloth knitting has really sucked me in. I’m in a KAL and everything. Yesterday I wasn’t feeling in the mood to work major overtime or go to the Boston Knit Out so I decided to catch up on watching my Netflix (a budget knitter’s best friend) DVD of Jewel In The Crown and come up with this contraption. I’ve never done cables before and that had to stop. I flipped to the cables section of my Harmony stitch guide and picked out an easy enough looking cable. I did the math and figured out that I could fit 3 cables over the amount of stitches I had. I thought how wonderful- I’ll do a different slanting one in the middle to give it some visual interest. Instead, I have accidental ruffles, texture that resembles more like alien skin than a dishcloth and only what seems a shadow of good cabling. Clearly much needs to be done.

The system’s back up again- time to take a small break from the knitting world.


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Kayne Watching: I’m In Love With This Dress

Posted by mmmshado on September 7, 2006

Bienvenue a Paris Kayne Watchers. What a dream it is to be in the city of Moulin Rouge, Eiffel Tower, Arch De Triomphe, and Kayne’s new identity which shall now be known as Monseiur Kayne de Frommage (alas, there’s no French word truly for Kaynesicle but they do have plenty of cheese! I find it quite appropriate)

So Monseiur Kayne de Frommage- what can we expect from you? I’m thinking your French self is a combination of an episode of Absolutely Fabulous (particularly the “I Hate France!” one) with all its fun ridiculousness, a part Lacroix, and a hint and dash of l’amour. Needless to say Kayne Watchers, the excitement must have hit intensely when we found out this would be a Couture gown. In our brains we resurrected images of Miss USA and Marilyn Monroe- the glory days of Kayne were on their way back.

In order to have an appropriate welcome to France, Monsieur Kayne de Frommage MUST have a party. This whole season has been lacking in festivity to an almost dire extent. But in order to get to that party, Le Frommage must search high and low through a fabric store in Montmarte to find the perfect je ne sais quoi fabric.

But first an appreciation of Kayne’s kindness- leading everyone in the cheers for Jeffrey’s win. Clearly that was some pre-ordained celebration for me (my name’s Jeff). It takes real courage after a devastating judging from Katherine Malandrino and our loyal judges to arise above that and really celebrate the victories of others. I’d say it was quite tasteful of him in fact.

And another appreciation for daring fashion choices. What was MKDF’s inspiration for gym shorts in Paris? I guess when you’re named after a cheese, you really just want to be comfortable for eating,shopping, and sketching. Understandable- it must have been part of his transition from mere Oklahoma-n to Le Kayne Francais.

While practically on the steps of the Sacre Couer, Vincent our self proclaimed couture “expert” gives his seal of appreciation minus his usual lewd statements to our namesake. I can deal without the lewdness but all appreciation for Kayne is quite welcome. Thanks Vincent!

After fabric has been purchased, it’s time to “Faites-lui le travail” (poor translation I know) Kayne was perhaps more ready to practice some of his new pickup lines (so that he can send them to Robert obviously- Kayne’s a happily coupled man) Let’s see what Monseiur Kayne de Frommage came up with:

Hé bébé, voulez-vous coudre ? (Hey baby, wanna sew?)

Je peux me voir dans votre couture (I can see myself in your couture)

Est-ce que c’est le Tour Eiffel dans votre pantalon ou êtes-vous simplement heureux de me voir ? (Is that the Eiffel Tower in your pants or are you just happy to see me?)

J’avez-vous perdu ma forme de robe, serez-vous la mienne ? (I lost my dress form, will you be mine?)

Je suis nouveau en ville. Est-ce que je peux avoir des directions à votre château ? (I’m new in town, can I have directions to your castle?)

And finally,

Je m’appelle couture. Je ferai votre corps bon. (My name’s couture. I’ll do your body good)

 (Thanks to AltaVista Babelfish for translation!)

As the piece was coming together, we get the usual scrutiny from Tim Gunn. I felt like he really needed to have a glass of red wine, smoking a cigarette, and wearing a beret while doing this critique. At least the agony of what was happening would have been less- who can take Tim Gunn in a beret seriously? Personally, I thought it coming together was beautiful and very couture. I imagined (in my crossover show of America’s Next Top Model and PR) the model wearing this dress and love love loving it to death and modelling it like it was the last dress she’ll ever wear. Luckily Kayne was able to prevent Tim’s criticism from taking over- his positive attitude is so admirable

“I’m in love with this dress. I think it’s gorgeous. Hopefully (the judges) will see the life I breathed into this”

Back to the other designers, my conviction that Laura was perhaps the first subscriber to Kayne Watching was confirmed- all her criticisms are just absolute love and admiration of Monsieur Kayne de Frommage. And Jeffrey, we can just be comforted by the thought that he is trying to suppress his Kayne tendencies in life and covering it up with that harsh and brusque exterior. Perhaps he was subscriber #2!

When the first day finished up, I felt concern. Has Kayne’s hair color changed?!?! Has he dimmed the brightness of the hair for the gay parisians or was it just some bad light that he stumbled into.

Word of advice Kayne- slow down while shaving! (Just a friendly PSA)

And yes, after all this, the real Kayne de Frommage comes out of Le Cabinet per se. If anyone is going to be the humorous one on this show, it’s Kayne. And while it was “Spectaculairement de fromage”, it was a welcome from the biting and critical statements from everyone else.

Katherine Malandrino- how we love your love of Kayne. Sure we find out you were living a double life (even after fondling Kayne’s dress), but your admiration and extensive praise of Kayne’s dress made this Kayne Watcher bubble with excitement. I was ready to pull out the champagne right there because that dress really was gorgeous and matched perfectly with his blazer. He’s not just a designer, he’s an accessory.

While traversing the Seine, Kayne worked his own Je Ne Sais Quoi to attract the attention of the French models. I’m sure they were loving his Plus D’Orange Coiffure.

And now it’s time to leave our French pick up lines for the streets of New York once again. Going into this, Kayne did us very very proud on that boat- the dress moves, it shines, it WORKS! Alas the disparities exist from what we see on tv and what the judges see. Obviously they’re just Santino-ing him at this point and can’t look at his work objectively. I mean hello, Kayne “Too Much” Gillaspie? At least be French about it Nina- you work at Elle. Kayne “Beaucoup” Gillaspie. Much better if it has to be. I love how insults sound much better in French.

The best part of all this is- No Au Revoir to Kayne. To Kayne…

Vous basculez notre monde (You rock our world!)

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Kayne Watching: Not A Recap

Posted by mmmshado on September 4, 2006

I bet you thought there would be no Kayne Watching this week. That’s ok. Up until a few minutes ago I didn’t think there would be one either. I’m human- I was so worried during this episode that it would be Kayne’s final one. I’m a hopeless optimist though and it at least got me through the episode. But now it’s time to be serious.

It’s getting close Kayne Watchers- to where we either have to say goodbye or prepare ourselves for a runway show for the ages. There’s something to hold onto- namely Jay and Santino. I think about some of the items that both Jay and Santino sent down the runway in their respective seasons and perhaps Kayne is now a card carrying member of that organization. Sure he doesn’t get schmaltzy with the judges but he knows how to impress- something that both Jay and Santino were capable of.

I guess it comes down to the one pivotal producer question. Does Kayne make good tv? Absolutely!!! Kayne Watching wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for the wonderful world of Kayne and his Kaynesicle Orange hair.

But I also have to be real. What if this is the week of weeks? The judges made it very clear that he is in jeopardy. Wednesday night has so much riding on it- I can taste it. We can hope for a self destruction of other designers at this point or we can hope for Kayne to put out his best work yet- and I think either situation is possible at this point.

Kayne in Paris by the way? I’m beginning to wonder what the French must have thought of his hair. I’m sure they could come up with a very appropriate name for his coiffure. Kayne De L’Orange… Creme de la Kayne… Chaud Chaud Kayne avec Creme de l’orange. Oui?

If Santino can get a runway show, there’s no doubt in my mind that Kayne can get one too. No one is safe at this point.

I wonder what others are thinking as they watch this. Is Kayne’s talent as apparent to others as it is to me? What I enjoyed most about this episode is that as his garment was coming together, you could tell it was him. Kayne sticks out- it’s a reality. He’s not afraid to step into the spotlight every once in a while and shine. He knows what he’s doing but it doesn’t seem to be in the taste of the judges- and in the reality of the world, who are they?

Ok ok- I’ll also admit that Kayne’s ass pants were a highlight of the show too. I only wish I knew how to make custom pants for myself like that. He worked them and that Versace print right down the runway.

He ain’t no Liberace- he’s Kayne Gillaspie and he’s coming to a white tent near you.

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Kayne Watching: I’m Going To Embarrass Kayne!

Posted by mmmshado on August 24, 2006

Well not me personally, I don’t have any intentions of embarrassing our namesake in this entry. Nope. However, yet another episode of Project Runway has passed us by and still the entertainment flows from Mr. Kayne Gillaspie.

After last week’s poor showing on the runway (but amazing steps of recovery followed!), Kayne was beaming with an 8.9 size smile when Heidi was announcing the new challenge. A new day to impress the world and live this fantasy live of Project Runway. Forget wind power or hybrid cars, Kayne’s smile might be able to power an entire city for hours at a time. Where can I get my Kayne Generator?

The secret was out- the challenge for the everyday woman- and we got to meet the wonderful Judy Gillaspie. Yes, the mother of Kayne Gillaspie! As the mothers and sisters stepped onto the runway, I knew that the designers would not be able to design for their relative. Instead, the challenge should be to design for this complete stranger and really find a way to shine. Clearly this is where Kayne shines after impressing the pants off of us in the Miss USA challenge- sure Tara Conner is far from the everyday woman, but listening to a client and keeping true to yourself is something that Kayne excels at.

The choices were made and very appropriately Kayne picked Michael’s mom. I mean, hello! the only woman with rhinestones in the room and Kayne immediately gravitates towards them. I feel like it would be quite possible to set up a rhinestone helicopter pad on top of any location and Kayne will find his way there- dress form in hand of course. (I’m sure there’s many note to selfs going on here…)

Finally we get a party this season! Where have all the parties been? Yes this is serious design but where would we be without Dirty Dianas and Santino in heels? A brisk walk to Central Park where we clearly see how much of a Momma’s boy Kayne is takes us to Tavern On The Green to meet up with Michael Kors and his mom, Joan Kors. I felt the giddiness in my stomach arising since I just knew something was on the way.

I didn’t know it would be a 110 pound something! The rhinestone gloves were off, all darts barred. Yes my friends, it was time for


And I think it’s safe to say that Kayne mastered the art of awkward child and teenage photos. No hair dye, no form fitting jeans or shirts, and the craziest wool sweaters you’ve ever seen. Oh and the 110 pound dress form or piles of organza that he was stuffing into his clothes every morning… I’m wondering when “the change” happened. Somehow I think it had to be right before or during the FIT years. I can imagine that’s what New York City does to you. Boston makes you cold and distant- perhaps New York City makes you lose your inner fabric pile up?

I’m already imagining the book too- Life Lessons From Kayne Gillaspie: A Reflection on Glamour, Convertible Hair, and How To Lose The Weight You Hate.

And of course it brings me back to my created statement for Kayne

“You can change your dress, you can change yourself, or you can change your attitude. But honey, you’ve gotta change something!”

I’m sure many people will find this just as much of an inspiration as I have. Not everyone needs to lose weight or wants to but when you really make that step and see results, it’s admirable. Though it could be projection, I find that his weight loss perhaps wasn’t so much about the aesthetic (though it had a part) but it was letting go of a bad past and bad learned habits.

When working with Michael’s mom, we had one of the most telling statements about Kayne’s character.

“She’s not a size 2 or a size 10 but she’s beautiful.”

I hope more people listen to this. A talking Kayne mirror perhaps? Is that what it will take? Of course it will be a Kaynesicle Orange Glamorous Button that you put on your mirror and press when you’re feeling self conscious. I’m trying to think of some sample expressions- more to come.

The Everyday Women arrived into the work room for fittings and beyond Jeffrey making Angela’s mom cry, the drama was quite unpronounced. You would think that the mothers who raised these designers would have more Je Ne Sais Quoi or Tempestuousness?

But we did hear from the fantastic Judy about her worries of embarrassing Kayne. No offense Judy- but letting out Kayne’s deep dark secrets of weight past is paramount to A One Night in Paris viewing at a party. At least Judy and Kayne can appear on screen at the same time though…

I had one of those experiences where I was watching PR with someone new this week (A Kayne Watching convert of course) and she said that seeing Kayne smile before the runway was A Kodak Moment. I’m hearing endorsements (anything for more Kayne watching truth be told)

The giddiness I was feeling when Michael’s mom modeled that outfit subsided in lieu of the judge’s moderately scathing comments. I suppose layered colors doesn’t work for everybody but given my own mother’s aesthetic (albeit she would have wanted the whole outfit in purple), I thought Kayne designed something fun and age appropriate but still youthful. Luckily, Kayne was spared despite all this but

Buddy Robert is gone. Robert of course will be missed by us Kayne Watchers for the entertainment that he provided- the long walks on the beach… no.. I mean.. the long bitch sessions in the lunch room.

So where does Kayne’s behavior go from here? Was Robert a distraction to Kayne’s talent? Was friendship undermining the design process? Will Kayne’s convertible hair return?

and when will my order of 10,000 rhinestones for a helicopter pad arrive?

Posted in Kayne, Project Runway | 5 Comments »

Kayne Watching: I Spent My Whole Life In A Trash Can

Posted by mmmshado on August 17, 2006

Well, when I ended last week, we knew that I was dreading the up coming week. Something about the way they do the previews foretells doom for at least one person and all the doom and gloom was being forecast in the direction of Mr. Kaynesicle himself. With no Klonapin or buddy Roberts at my side- but definitely a great roommate to comfort me in all the scary parts, what I call the episode of Doom arrived.

It all starts with Heidi deciding that it’s been a little too easy on the designers lately. Designing for dogs? Too simple. Ripping up your apartment and making it into something beautiful? A kindergarten class could do that. No kids, this time let’s throw a Fashion Mensa party. But in usual fashion, Fashion Mensa has to be thrown to the side for one evening while the designers have no idea what to expect.

Welcome to the worst world of designers- mornings. In the apartments we were seeing quite the other sides of all of our favorite designers but surprisingly we were without the convertible hair. What happened to the convertible hair? I’m hoping the latch isn’t broken and needs to go in for repair- now is not the time for Hair Care Repair.

Surprisingly enough, the designers are forced to New Jersey with no open toed shoes (don’t you love that Kayne got special mention for this? He’s expertly singled out on the basis of his footwear. Only thing I could hope to be singled out for would be to leave knitting needles around my workplace and then everybody would know who it was) Ok- so this could work. I was hoping that there would be some exciting trip to Princeton to complete Fashion Mensa. Fashion For Geeks. String Fashion Theory. Quantum Fashion.

Nope, it’s Fashion RRR- Fashion Really Ridiculous Recyclables.

In this backwards world recycling facility, fashion is a no no. I did feel a little cringe imagining Kayne as the construction worker in The Village People but with a touch of sherbert for good measure. I was expecting some spontaneous dancing and performances but the pressure was on to find some sort of suitable material for an unsuitable challenge. We did get the workings of the inner mind of Kayne though- Spending his whole life in a trash can, growing up “white trash.”

Boys, girls, and Kayneaholics, please take that as reason to never forget that beauty can flourish everywhere. This has been a Kayne Watching Public Service Announcement.

30 minutes were up and the torture for us Kayne Watchers began. There’s really no need to deny it. In my experience, with all the episodes of Project Runway so far, and not just because of Kayne, this was the most depressing episode of PR ever- we’ve seen the dark side of Project Runway.

I believe the producers must have been aware of this when we were given Kayne and Robert’s Trash Talk Hour (it really was the most suitable episode to do this) to lighten the mood. Oh the boys were having a good old time especially when we found out that Laura had kissed Kayne on the cheek once. I’m not afraid to say it everybody, Laura is a Kayne Watcher if there ever was one. Despite the rough exterior, I’m sure she too keeps up on Kayne Watching or records her own Kayne-A-Licious podcast.

After Kayne and Robert’s Trash Talk Hour, Kayne revealed his own Blue Steel look- The Citrus Twist Kayneimated Squint. This just might be the look to make when you find yourself in the face of doom without silky fabrics to hold onto. None of this was made any better by Tim’s most colorful expression yet.

“It looks like a toad exploded all over it”

At Kayne Watching, compassion is #1. It might be a blog but there’s a human behind it seeing the tears in his eyes. I try to be funny (very poorly so) but I can’t deny how Kayne must have been feeling to be in the process of making a design that just doesn’t work. If Tim Gunn hates something you’re doing, bottle caps, tempera paint and all, it means something, you should listen. Many a soul has found themselves ousted off of the land of fashion due to ignoring The Gunn.

But this is Fashion Mensa. And sometimes you just want an answer to the problem in front of you. At this point I was repeatedly thinking “Carry On Kayne! Just carry it on!”

Doom was taking the better of our namesake. The downward thought spiral was continuing. Why wasn’t there a Buddhist monk there to guide him on this Fashion Journey?

“I’ve made a fairy costume” and “I just really hate my dress”

Reading this once again, I’m astounded by how quickly Kayne is able to go through Stages of Recovery. Here’s a sampling:

– Denial: When he was putting each of the bottle caps on the dress, he must have thought that this was going to look wonderful even knowing somewhere that it had to be overkill.

– Admission: Kayne didn’t really want to admit that the dress was bad especially in front of the other designers. His reluctance was clear but he saw there was a problem, a very big problem that needed to be faced. The key here is reluctance. His last dress had gone over so well so he didn’t want to think he was capable of bad design but the admission came.

– Compliance: “I’ve made a fairy costume” says this all. There was still detachment in this statement because some of the other designers looks looked unpolished and possibly worse than this, but it was a surrendering of pride.

– Acceptance: “I’m not ready to go” In this moment, the reality that a bad dress could mean no runway show, no other collection, no big white tents all came rushing in. To admit this takes courage but he did it. Even his remarks on the runway were characteristic of this

– Surrender: On the runway, we see the reality of the situation when Kayne’s dress is singled out by Michael for “stepping over the boundary of taste”. He wasn’t trying to be Santino (who actually couldn’t get past the denial stage ever). He was humbled by the tragedy that was his dress but handled it expertly.

When you put it into this focus, the conversation between Kayne and Laura is more inspiring. While Laura expressed (in contempt of herself and being a closet Kayne Watcher) her worry over the dress, Kayne flew back with

“Well honey, I worry about your character”

Character to me involves moving forward, seeing emotions as Mensa. Part of Surrender involves gaining balance in all dimensions, including the dimension of fashion. The cycle completed in his favor when he was spared the bottom 2 chopping block and he spread this newfound experience in the surrender stage by re-framing Alison’s leaving from Laura’s outburst at Vincent to a positive “Let’s enjoy the last few minutes that we have together.”

See, it’s not just fashion at stake here. Project Runway has always been a magnifying glass of human behavior and personality. We’re complex individuals who will sometimes put out bad designs. But the acceptance of these mistakes, letting yourself see the reality of a situation, and either making changes to your dress, your self, or just your attitude is the real challenge.

Hmmm maybe this is my new “You can cry and you can cut, but you have to cry and cut”.

“You can change your dress, you can change yourself, or you can change your attitude. But honey, you’ve gotta change something!”

That one’s for you Kayne.

Posted in Kayne, Project Runway | 2 Comments »

Kayne Watching: The Birth of Kayne’s Love Child (spoiler)

Posted by mmmshado on August 10, 2006

Last time on Kayne watching, we were faced with the disappointment of Kayne being on one of the bottom two teams- the absolute worst place for our namesake to be. So to lighten up the mood from that, I’ve thought of several names for Kayne’s hair color. Please jump in if you have any…


Kaynesaver Orange


Triple Kayne

Grand Kayneier

Ok, now onto the show. Based off the previews from last week, I felt confident coming into this challenge that Kayne was going to have a success as there were no exasperated looks from him on the runway- but despite those previews, there’s always the worry that he’ll just be moved on to the next round and not stand out as he always should. So, I think most Kayne Watchers were feeling cautiously optimistic at this point.

The episode really started this week when the models’ names were drawn from a bag and they were forced to choose exactly who they wanted to work with this week. In, what I think, a very unfortunate twist of fate, the last two models drawn from the bag were the ones to go home. Somehow I’m not seeing the fairness of this. But Amanda chose Kayne beyond anybody else to work with this week and Kayne’s big winner, Katya from the Miss USA episode, was out. Katya- thank you so much for helping give Kayne his first big win! Good luck.

Ok models- let’s make it work, shall we? In the workroom, the Idols were set up- Madonna, Cher, Marilyn, Audrey, Jackie O and etc. The pictures were the carrot in front of these models’ eyes- or celery, whatever is more appropriate. It was up to them to pick who their choice designer was going to be modernizing a look for- after all, that was the challenge. I only wonder what Kayne was thinking leaving Amanda up to such a vital task. Were they able to pow wow at all? If so, I doubt Kayne was able to get a word in- but more on that later.

Without any possible consultation, Amanda knew exactly the best choice for Mr. Kayne Gillaspie- none other than Marilyn Monroe. I’m not one to leave things up to chance but this was meant to be. And the glow on Kayne’s face when he found out was priceless, at least to this Kayne Watcher.

“Can I say how ****ing excited I am?!?!?!”

It brought him to expletives- how great is that? What’s even better was the vision that Kayne had percolating in his brain. Could it be? The love child of Marilyn Monroe and Gwen Stefani? Inspired! I was already imagining some twisted but beautiful world of in vitro fertilization involving fabric, sewing machines, Kaynesicles, and oozing creativity.

Ok Kayne, it’s time to work it. It must have not been easy when on the center stage you see the squabble between Angela and Jeffrey taking place. But knowing the pettiness, bickering, and craziness that might be the world of pageantry, Kayne must have been at home and just worked on his conception… I mean, creation. I have to say that I admire his ability to remain tight lipped.

*small Kayne Watching break*

Oh- and I think we had a secret glimpse of Kayne’s personality last night. Leather huh? Oh there’s just too much fun stuff to say but that will be another time.

Also, can I just say how much I wish I could pull off his wardrobe? As in wear it… not actually any de-robing, de-Kayneing, or any sort of act. When you’re more of a sweater vest desiring type of guy, you learn to admire the daring accessories that others are able to pull off.

*Kayne Watching returns*

It’s model time- here they come girls and boys. Every model has their own personality- let’s just say that. In the world of Project Runway, we’ve seen plenty of them. There are those who can’t seem to show up on time, those who throw themselves over important people, those who cry over a wedding dress, those can’t walk.. and THOSE WHO WON’T SHUT UP!

And Amanda was that type of girl. Boyfriends, iPods, and even passing her life problems onto other designers- welcome to the world of Amanda. But let’s let Kayne speak for this one:

“You should be pretty, seen, and not heard from”

Poor Kayne.

The whole challenge was something big and shiny in front of Kayne’s face. An ad in Elle Magazine? Him and his model? HELLO PEOPLE!

“Love it, Love it, Love it”

Yes, that’s a level 3 on the Love It Kayne Excitement Scale. Please calibrate your TV screen accordingly and secure all loose women and furniture.

Finally, it was runway day kids.

Let’s just say that this Kayne Watcher was quite thankful that he used his inhaler earlier in day. From behind the sihlouette screen, everything screamed Marilyn. Amanda may not be able to control her oral orifice, but she does know how to walk. I felt like I was in the presence of Marilyn herself watching this dress come down the runway. I knew he’d at least be in the top 3.

So there he was standing in the top 3. Did it seem like the judges had nothing nice to say? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Kayne was called “genius” “fab” and was applauded on the whole presentation. He even got a nod from Ms. Nina Garcia- he never disappoints her. Same here at Kayne Watching.

The minutes were dwindling down. Gushing judges were all around. This might actually have been the most competitive episode of Project Runway out of every one to date. So I felt the disappointment for Kayne when Michael was announced the winner. You would have thought that his puppy had just run away into the distance or worse, his shop had a huge shipment of wire hangers. I only wish I could have given him a hug- or as some of my friends would suggest, a Klonapin.

At least Kayne’s buddy Robert was still in.

However, I might need a buddy Robert or a Klonapin next week, the previews have me a little bit irked. But until then, Kayne Watchers, have a Cosmo with extra Kaynetroieau for me.

Posted in Kayne, Project Runway | 4 Comments »

SO toe up…

Posted by mmmshado on August 8, 2006

Look- it's a Toe!

Well, all my Turkish Cast on obsessing has finally come to fruition- I have my first sock toe ever. As of last night though, it is now gone to frog land. Even in the beginning I started making mistakes and ended up with a reverse stockinette toe- not supposed to happen. I know what all my mistakes were and was happy to rip it and start over again.

My biggest mistake? I think it was when I knit the wrong side of the magic loop stitches- that’s what set in the reverse stockinette toe with stockinette foot.

Then I realized I was using the absolute wrong needles. With magic loop, it really is necessary to break in the cord so that it loses its’ memory otherwise it’s going to be a pain to work with. I learned that in the not so fun way. But the yarn is so wonderful that I would be willing to make the needles work if they were all I had. Instead, I’m looking into the Classic Circulars from KnitPicks- I’ve heard that they’re pretty sharp and effective. I’ll just be sure to hold the cord over some steam and take out all the kinks in it.

I find this whole process interesting. I was able to separate myself from my knitting for once. Just because I had to frog a project doesn’t mean that my knitting is terrible or that I as a knitter don’t belong. EVERYONE frogs at one point or another. I looked at the project and wasn’t terribly happy with where it was going so I made a conscious adult decision to let it go. Surprisingly, it felt more cathartic than sad.

Do all knitters feel a sense of retrospect when working on projects? I know that this weekend when I start the sock again, I’ll be entering it with less doubt than I did the first time. The memory is there of how awkward the whole process felt and what I had to adjust along the way but this time I can concentrate on the joy that sock knitting can give instead of the terror that I had that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Each project that we do no matter what the result sets a tone for our future projects.

If a tone is set, it would seem that as a group, we really should focus on what was good about a certain project, what we learned from it, and how it shaped us in positive ways. I’m thinking of my friends who are experiencing the world for the first time now and learning what it really means to have a job and work in an office from 9-5. It’s not easy and your first job will almost always be your worst- it’s a process. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t find joy and happiness in that time of life. It all translates back to knitting and knitting translates back to life. I appreciate what the sock toe gave me this weekend- confidence that I really do understand Turkish Cast On and that the yarn I’m using is incredible (Regia Bamboo).

Until then, I find myself without a project that I’m aching to work on. But that too is ok.

Posted in knitting | 3 Comments »

Boston Tea Stop: Cambridge, MA

Posted by mmmshado on August 7, 2006

Time at Boston Tea Stop

First off, I have to laugh at myself for unknowingly writing the wrong date in the Moleskine. It happens when you feel disconnected from the world- which is what a yarn sale will do to you. Suddenly your brain fills up with all the projects you can now do that time seems rather inconsequential. Or that’s just fluff talk for me being too proud to ask…

The true date of this was on Saturday August 5th when I took an afternoon trip to Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA for some Boston Tea Stop bubble tea. Though I’ve been here before on several occasions, I’m always first taken by how well everything was planned out here. Think green! From the signs outside the shop, to the tables when you go in, and to the bubble tea finding its home in your hand, you’re surrounded with one terrific sense of branding and a sophisticated playfulness that Boston Tea Stop tries to give off.

The fun starts with all the choices in front of you when it’s time to order. Milk Tea, Slush, Snow, and Smoothies and also dumplings and Mochi. Though be forewarned, they’re almost always out of the Green Tea Mochi since I hear it’s THAT good. At this point I was feeling like a purist and wanted just straight up bubble tea- no twists. As you can see written in my journal, I went with a Pineapple Vanilla.

And that’s significant. Out of all the places I’ve been for bubble tea, I’ve never once had the opportunity to mix and match my own flavors. I’m sure the possibility is there at other establishments but to make a drink that’s completely personal to you fits into that realm of sophisticated playfulness that Boston Tea Stop conveys. To make it more difficult in the best way, they offer 22 tempting flavors in Infusion Milk Tea from Lemon to Lychee and Rose Flower to Chocolate.  

If that’s not exactly enough for you to decide in 5 minutes or less, feel free to choose between Lychee and Mango jelly or stick with some tasty Boba.

Finally, you’ve made your decision. Congratulations!

As mentioned before, the cups play an important role in Bubble Tea consumption and Boston Tea Stop shines here. A clever, polished, and balanced logo tops the seal of the cup and leaves the rest of the cup blank so that people walking by can admire the contents of your tea. What’s great about Boston and bubble tea is that it’s still not as popular as it could be so you will get looks from people wondering exactly what you’re drinking. So with your stunning cup, take your straw (again more choices!) and head outside.


There might be tables but don’t be deceived, Boston Tea Stop is not a place to sit and talk. The noise factor will irritate and actually detract from your bubble tea experience. The several times I have sat in Boston Tea Stop during the weekends have been brutal on my ear drums and concentration. However, those who don’t need a quiet ambiance to enjoy their tea will feel at home especially if they can secure a spot by the window to do some of the best people watching in the city.

Finally, a discussion on taste. Though the choices are plentiful, the quality isn’t as spectacular as it could be. I’m concerned that the taste is too sugary and too artificial for the modern urban dwelling Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s shopping taste buds. I see a split in the Bubble Tea community coming in the next few months or years where there’s a division between less choices and higher quality or more choices that sacrifice quality. But in fairness, the sugar rush you get from Boston Tea Stop aligns perfectly with the nature of bubble tea and its roots. It’s supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be sugary, it’s supposed to be crazy. I think it’s all a matter of choice.

Boston Tea Spot. A destination for sophisticated playfulness, mind boggling choices, a sugar rush to boot, but not for those seeking a place to relax by any means.

Store Information:

Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 945-0017

Posted in Bubble Tea | Leave a Comment »

Yes I did it. I Fair Isle’d

Posted by mmmshado on August 4, 2006

Last night I became initiated to a new knitting technique (new to me that is)- the wonderful world of Fair Isle or I guess more accurately Stranded color knitting. Granted it was for a simple pattern and only about 5 repeats but there I was with my right hand twisting away. In some weird moment, I felt like I had done Fair Isle before because it came so quickly and my fingers already knew what to do despite it being clunky and awkward at first.

Is there such a thing as intuitive knitting? I think so.

I remember reading about people who taught themselves and followed the “if it looks right, it must be right” school of knitting very successfully. I felt that last night- I just knew that the way the yarn was acting would look beautiful once the colors were added. I have Grumperina’s latest post to thank. She picked up a book of Estonian knitting patterns and I really did feel like I was putting off my Fair Isle instruction. When intuition doesn’t always come natural for me, I feel anxiety. Major anxiety actually. To the point where I told myself that I really wasn’t interested at all in color knitting but I knew that was a lie- I’m a color addict! Yes those colors might be tweedy and dark but they are colors nonetheless.

This gives me new hope for the project that I’ve been working on for a while- the Monkey backpack from Stitch ‘N Bitch. Last weekend I started back on the gusset after teaching myself how to pick up stitches. In a fit of anger of some sort or impatience, I ripped out the needle and told myself if I really wanted to work on it again, I’d find a way to get the stitches back on the needle. Well, I did and I learned how to do it without even twisting the stitches. Again my intuition was working overtime there and I’ve given the project some much needed attention and might be able to finish it in the coming weeks.

Finally, this new foray into stranded knitting sparks more ideas for my trips to Woolcott this weekend for their big 28th Anniversary Celebration. I’ll be sure to post my procurements of course.

So, here’s to intuitive knitting and major sales!

Posted in knitting, Techniques, yarn | 2 Comments »

Kayne Watching: He’s Relentless! (spoiler)

Posted by mmmshado on August 3, 2006

Well, everyone will be blogging about the big news today of the big boot auf. But, can we get some major appreciation to my object of observation- Mr. Kayne G? Apparently the Atlas apartments at Project Runway have a resident whistle-blower and he comes in the shape of a Midwest Pageant-wear designer. Being the one who noticed the pattern-making books in the apartment, Kayne did, in my opinion, the right thing and informed the producers of this contraband. Ok, can I say his name now?

Keith is gone!! Now of course strategically this is a good move for moving Kayne towards the end with his main competition so far being Robert and Keith. I’m sure Kayne felt some sadness about doing this but rules are there for a reason and we can all thank him for proving the integrity of the show.

 Now on to the fun stuff. Is it me or should there be a competition to name the hair color that Kayne has? In my opinion, it might actually be time for Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to jump in with Agent Orange. But someone has to have something better. Me, I’m still working on it and will then proceed to dye some yarn in his likeness.

As many will know, the designers were split up into groups for a three piece challenge for INC and Macy’s this week. Kayne made his love of color explicit- again, he didn’t need to say anything about loving color with that hair but bringing it back to his Southern roots is always necessary. But the teams were set and Kayne was without a team leader position. Nope, it came down to Robert, Bonnie, Keith, and Angela.

Yes, Angela.

But we found the soft side of Kayne who really showed an interest in the potential of Angela

Kayne: “She hasn’t had an opportunity to show off her great talent yet”

What a great guy to watch huh? I have to say that it’s a rare occurrence on Project Runway to really compliment the other designers and see their potential. At Kayne Watching, compassion and appreciation are always accepted and applauded. Though his whistle-blowing stole the show, this comment would be the under-appreciated Kayne moment of the episode.

As far as teams, I’m guessing no one was surprised that Robert and Kayne were together- but the addition of Vincent added the nice little kick of Over The Top-ness needed to complete the group.

Then everything went down. The whistles blew, the Tim entered, the Keith “I didn’t use them” excuses flew, and the Gunn fired him. Straight out of the apartment, possession is the law. And while Keith might have escaped the world of Atlas to search for yarn p*o*rn on Flickr- it’s highly doubtful. Though it was said once on the show, it’s worth being repeated.

“Don’t you see how you brought this upon yourself?”

Another highlight of this episode for us Kayne Watchers would be the Convertible Hair- top up and top down at will. I’m telling you that Kayne just might have a switch somewhere that he can change the style and height of his hair on demand. It’s really a piece of work to be admired. Personally each style should have Kayne in some distinct personality a la Jekyll and Mr Hyde or more importantly, Zulema and Chetange (sp?).

The clothes were made, the judges deliberated, and unfortunately Kayne found himself on the losing team. Was this going to be the week that the tight bond between Robert and Kayne was broken? The partnerships of all partnerships so far was eerily close to a perilous demise.

But Robert Best stays!! And you know he’ll make up for this poor showing. Instead, Bonnie was gone. Goodbye Bonnie.

And most importantly, Kayne is still in it. Just a few more steps to go too.

Posted in Kayne, Project Runway | 3 Comments »