mmmshado

Infusions Tea Spa: Allston, MA

Posted by mmmshado on August 1, 2006

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My Sunday Still Life: some Bubble Tea and Stitch ‘N Bitch of course.

When I’m not admiring Bamboo sock yarn or discussing Project Runway at my favorite LYS: Woolcott and Company, I’m usually tasting as many varieties of Bubble Tea that you can find in the Boston area.

On this particular journey, I stayed in my own neighborhood of Allston, MA for some Infusions Tea Spa. Honestly when you go in, it’s a place you can imagine sitting for hours catching up on reading your Proust or Anais Nin- or with the free Wi-Fi access, browsing Knitty.com. Dare I say it but I might even try to KIP there one day. Why not?

If you get a seat near the windows you can be inspired by the cast of characters that are sure to walk by at any given time but surprisingly Sunday brings out a more tame crowd. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of hipsters in sight but it was made up for by the little slice of life that the view gives you. Trust me, Allston has some charm to it.

Now to the tea. Basically, if I get the right impression, you do have a selection of Milk teas (which are commonly served with the tapioca pearls) but also some green teas and then some smoothies. On special they actually had some Thai Tea which is a red tea with milk- by far a stand out at any given Bubble Tea establishment. However, the other selections seemed a little bit limited but the authenticity and the friendly service makes up for it. In future visits, I’m imagining the quality of the small selection is outstanding and hope to prove that soon.

What’s my most severe criticism of Infusions Tea Spa? The cups! Strange yes, but part of the personality of Bubble Tea is the cups. Granted as a small business operating in an expensive city, one should choose to save money where possible but the cups are so essential. Sadly the cups seem to derive from their supplier in Taiwan and don’t express the personality of Infusions Tea Spa, an important part of branding- if not the most important part of Bubble Tea culture. In the future I would hope that they would get some custom designed cups with their logo (which is beautiful- they have a great color scheme and clean fresh look) and let the cup be as fashionable as the beverage inside.

Bubble Tea is fun- that’s why I drink it. Coffee can be too serious. Iced Tea in itself lacks some personality. But Bubble Tea, it stands out. The container matters too. In fact, modern times and advertising have brought packaging design to the forefront of graphic design as exhibited by the last Communication Arts Design Annual. They made special note of the attention that is being paid to packaging design as a vital step in the marketing process and as a corporate identity.

But the good. What stands out more than anything? Their tapioca pearls are worth the wait every time with the perfect amount of sweetness. When you’re chewing these things, you want there to be a personality of some sort too and Infusions Tea Spa succeeds there. Ok well not everyone wants personality in their tapioca I know but the taste matters and these taste great.

So, Infusions Tea Spa in Allston, MA. Relaxing atmosphere, friendly service, lacking in some personality with their cups, but ultimately a high quality Bubble Tea destination.

Here’s their information:

Infusions Tea Spa110 Brighton Ave.,Allston. 617-254-1122.

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Posted in Bubble Tea | 2 Comments »

Kayne Watching

Posted by mmmshado on July 27, 2006

Well Sean is doing it- so I should at least put in my few words of comment on last night’s Project Runway. Except for now on, I shall entitle these posts Kayne Watching because I’m really starting to be impressed with what he does each week plus he’s fun to watch.

I’m just noticing how much the little details make an outfit shine- something I’m sure he’s had quite a bit of practice with. Mainly the lining of the jacket, the choice of sunglasses for the model, and all accessories. I thought they made his story much more believable and fleshed out. He really creates an outfit and a persona for the person he’s designing for. Some people embrace a narrative in their work- whereas I was a bit surprised to find out that Robert in contrast does not embrace that style of thinking. He’s probably shying away from being the Nick V and dressing up Paris Hilton in many different situations. It just might be working

Actually, speaking of Nick V, in many ways his outfit reminded me of Nick V’s Barbie dress from last season- which was a hit if you take a look at the doll on ebay, it’s still selling for a good amount (if you can find it!). But it has Kayne’s special touch.

Of course he felt he could go over the top if he wanted to with that beautiful invisible but fashion forward immunity necklace he was wearing. Clearly the shirt he wore to the runway show should be the Immunity Shirt. I can just imagine everyone having to look just a little bit ridiculous in celebration of their win.  But despite immunity Tim gave much high praise to Kayne in Tim’s Take this morning- to both the dress and to the outfit for his poodle, Molly.

 Next week- a much more detailed version of Kayne watching I promise.

Posted in Kayne, Project Runway | 1 Comment »

Where you at…

Posted by mmmshado on July 25, 2006

How pretentious would it be to start an entry with a quote by Proust? Perhaps too pretentious thus no Proustian quotes today.. sorry. I thought “Where you at?” would be much more appropriate. Colloquialisms should be embraced and used for effect. Ok- this is not a language blog. Let’s get to the knitting.

 Ahh yes, the knitting! Last night as I was packing away my knitting for the evening, I was wondering where I’m at. I don’t have many FOs under my belt nor lots of UFOs floating around either. None of that. Someone could actually or vicariously walk in my room (although that’s a whole different set of challenges) and be under the impression that I’m not working on anything at all and that I might be a verbal knitter- where I talk about it but never actually put the needles in my hand.

So where you at?

 I’m in the experimental/ try it then frog it stage. In the past few weeks, I’ve taught myself Magic Loop, ssk (and looking forward to trying these: Left Slanting Decreases.)

And last night I had the best time doing this:

 Turkish Cast On via Magic Loop

I would keep on trying until it felt right- maybe about 2 or 3 tries until I had it working beautifully and I was creating something that resembled a toe. I figured I could keep on working increases and make some sort of beginning of a sock. But as the night weaned on and I set my alarm for 5:30am once again, I knew it wasn’t going anywhere so I just broke the yarn and admired at a mini-toe, something that only fit around one of my toes (I only cast on about 4 or 5 stitches). It was the first time doing the Turkish Cast on and M1R that I’ll need for a toe up sock pattern. I like the accomplishment and confidence that a new technique gives me.

In the past, I actually reached a point in my knitting where I was ready to just buy big needles and make projects that could be finished quickly and was resolved to work hundreds of scarves in simple seed stitch. That was maybe 2 months ago which considering I’ve only been knitting for 3 months says how quickly I’ve gone through stages that take some people years to get out of. Well what happened? I guess that’s for another entry. But something did happen.

I understand the race to FOs but as a beginning knitter and someone who aspires to writing his own patterns, I find it necessary to see the broad scope of technique rather than focusing on “sweater A” or “shawl B”. I still have FOs as a goal for the future. Heck, if I could do Knucks right now on magic loop, I would be throwing myself into it but I need more practice. If I had to summarize where my joie de vivre in knitting comes now, it would be in the process of shaping garments or even thinking of using techniques in non-traditional ways.

Now what?

I find myself on a path of sock knitting- not necessarily socks that I’m wanting to make at this point but I’m fascinated how they’re shaped and constructed. Watching socks being constructed to me is perhaps a close 2nd to seeing a seamless sweater take shape on a circular needle (again something that I’m trying to imagine on magic loop since I mainly work on small items.)

So that’s where I’m at. 3 months into this new world of knitting. Before I forget, I want to give a VERY big Thank You to the woman who taught me, none other than Alison of “the blue blog”, and instilled a confidence in me that I wish all beginning knitters had.

Hmm, where will I be in 6 months?

Posted in knitting | 1 Comment »

Happy Saturdye!

Posted by mmmshado on July 24, 2006

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Well, the weekend has ended and I’m back to being the responsible blue shirt and brown pants wearing Jeff that I shed in light of the freedom that Saturday and Sunday give me. It’s been a while since I’ve had some weekend time to pursue some projects I’m really interested in- and I was ready.

 So started the first ever Saturdye for me. KnitPicks.. check. Kool aid I started collecting months ago check. Casserole dish purchased. Plastic cups check. Microwave not stolen? Check. And combine everything, you get… thewholesetup.JPG

I didn’t think I was going to be so persnickety (read “anal retentive”) about setting up everything but my scientific mind kicked in as well as my color theory mind.. warmtocool.JPG

where I tried lining things up in a color wheel as well as warm to cool as you see above.

 The whole process with all the mini-skeins I did took about 4 hours. You can see the rest of the results in my Flickr account (just click on one of the photos above and it should take you there luckily.)

 Once the yarn was up to dry and all my work had been done, I took myself to my favorite movie theatre in the world, Coolidge Corner Theater, and saw Russian Dolls which I walked out of feeling surprisingly French and both satisfied and disappointed in the world at the same time. It made me want to be home and working on my knitting actually- to find completion through my projects.

 It’s a discombobulated first entry into the blogging world I’ll admit- I’m going to start looking for a good blog client to run on my computer at home to make this whole process work better for me. Right now, I’m shaky.

 Welcome Jeff to the world of blogging.

Posted in knitting, saturdye, yarn | 2 Comments »

Flickr

Posted by mmmshado on July 13, 2006

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

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