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Tres Chic Veronique


The Evil Juanita Or How I Ended Up Crying on 14th Street

Juanita did it again! Lisa and I had been promised keys to our new apartment today at 9am. So, I pack a van, get to Juanita's office and ask her for my keys. She responds "I can't give you the keys".
Now, at this point, I am not the most easy going person, you know what I mean? So I answered "oh yes, you can give me the keys". We went back and forth for a while. She called her manager, I called my broker. It turns out that they have gone back on their promise to give us the keys today for insurance reasons. They have now decided (without warning) that we will get the keys tomorrow at 8am. I reminded Juanita that her office promised to give the keys. She says that's not true, they never promised anything. She says I misunderstood. How could we misunderstand "you can pick up the keys friday at 9am"?

I was stunned. Flabbergasted. I thought maybe it was a cruel joke.

My van is parked in front of the building. I have to return it soon. What do I do? Juanita shrugs. I yell. I'm shaking. I cry. Juanita shrugs, then says I'm really annoying her. I was on the verge of unloading the contents of my van in her office. I beg her to find me storage space in the building: her office is next to an empty apartment, and hey, MY appartment is also empty. She says no. I plead with her, I tell her I'm homeless, I have nowhere to put my stuff. She says it's against the rules. I tell her this is an emergency, this is a desperate situation: I'm begging her to help me. Where will I stay tonight? She shrugs.

This is how I ended up unloading the van in the middle of 14th street. (A kind friend let me store the boxes in his apartment).

By Veronique
On Friday, June 30, 2006
At 6/30/2006 02:02:00 PM


Brooklyn knitting detectives and Lotus Blossom Shawl

Your comments cracked me up!
Several Brooklyn knitters have investigated and correctly identified the neighborhood that I'm moving into based on the most mysterious link I could find and a poorly-framed picture taken from my new window. (I love playing detective: I gave 2 very vague clues to Nettie and she got it right away. Turns out I'll be neighbors with her grand-mother!). Brooklyn knitters are a sharp bunch, let me tell you. So , yes, cat's out of the bag: I'm moving to Fort Greene!
I'm thinking we should have a FG get-together with Mamie, Nettie, Jess, Megann and Lisa. Anybody else out there in FG? Kaitlyn?

In knitting news, I have finished the shawl that my mother requested for her birthday (which was monday June 26th). She called 2 months ago to inform me that she was finally old enough to wear a shawl.
--Can we insert an eye roll here? Thanks.--
Anyway, after many phone calls and the forwarding of many websites with pictures of not-so-old-lady shawls, my mother selected... the Lotus Blossom shawl. Good choice!
Then came the many phone calls and emails about yarn selection. My mother claims that *any* wool will make her itch.
--Can we insert another eye roll here? Thanks.--
I gave in (which, if you know me at all, is pretty rare) and bought the most scrumptious silk at Habu. I already owned one lonely ball of Kusaki Zome silk in a cool minty green (unfortunately not enough to knit anything bigger than a handkerchief) , so I knew how delicious it was. I got the pattern from Fiddlesticks (who mailed it super quick), ran over to Habu during a rainstorm, and got the perfect needles for lace knitting, which for me is Bryspun circs from Angelika (love her!). I was super excited to be knitting a great project with beautiful yarn and "my" needles. And then.... I stalled. You know what I mean, right?
Finally, the weekend before my mother's birthday, at the last possible minute, I knit the damn shawl. And you know what? The pattern is very well written, the charts are printed nice and big, and since they each contain just a few rows, you feel like you're knitting quicker. Come to think of it, it was a joy to knit! Why didn't I realize that before?... The Yarn Harlot had already blogged about it, it was no big secret. I guess some things you have to experience for yourself.

Anyway, without further ado, let me present....
Crappy Unblocked Lace on Soon-to-be-Filled Boxes!
(yeah, I decided to knit instead of pack. You got a problem with that?!).
Lace Pinned on the Wall!
(Too many boxes to block on a towel on the floor, and honestly, I don't care if there's a million little holes on the wall. So there).
And an artistic shot!
(which in my hands, becomes a sideways, not-always-focused shot. My apologies to all the real photographers out there).

And now, back to packing boxes...

By Veronique
On Monday, June 26, 2006
At 6/26/2006 03:59:00 PM


Hello Brooklyn!

If I haven't been posting as often as before, it's because of 2 people: one person at work and Juanita. (I don't really want to blog about work stuff, so you'll only get to hear about Juanita. Don't worry, it's quite a story!).

My broker called me on wednesday May 31st and told me about a cute little 2 bedroom in a pre-war building and in exactly the neighborhood I was interested in. I snuck out of work and went to see the apartment that afternoon... My soon-to-be roommate, Lisa, went to see it that very evening after work (this girl is on top of things, let me tell you!). By thursday, we decided to take it. On friday, I gave my broker a deposit. I also gave him lots and lots of paperwork which the building management demanded. Lisa and I were very excited! We were anxiously awaiting a response.

This is when Juanita came into our lives and made us miserable. Juanita is the secretary at the building management company, and she was in charge of making sure our application was complete. She gave us grief about every single document Lisa and I gave her. Every. Single. One.
My last 3 paystubs? She wanted my last 3 at my new job. I hadn't received a paycheck yet. She said that's fine, but could you give me your last 3 paystubs?
My letter of employment? She didn't like the wording of it, and wanted my boss to rewrite it.
My W2s? She called to let me know I'd "forgotten" to include my 1040s, one week after she'd told me that giving only my W2s and not my 1040s was sufficient.
My rent checks? She called me 3 times to inform me thatI still needed to hand them in, when in fact my current rent is deducted from my paycheck, which she has a copy of. She told me she wanted the rent check on a separate piece of paper. (I was very tempted to tell her to cut my paystub in 2).
My lease? She asked for my most recent lease so I gave her my lease renewal. Then she wanted the original lease from 5 years ago.
My Con Ed bill? Electricity is included in my rent, therefore I do not have an electric bill. She said that was fine, but could I hand in my electric bill?
My social security card? I lost mine 10 years ago. She said that was ok, but could I give a copy of my social security card? I ended up going to the Social Security Office and got a new one.
ID? I gave her my passport, but she wanted my driver's licence.
She also asked for a letter from our schools, to certify that we were students. Neither of us are students.
I'm proud to say I only lost my shit once.

Finally, 23 days after visiting the apartment, I signed a lease!!

Let us say goodbye to my old view : I'll regret not seeing the 59th st bridge anymore, but noisy FDR I can do without. It's looking particularly dismal with all the rain today. Now compare it to my new view at the top of this post. Wheeeee! In knitting-related news: I've finished the Phildar green cardie, I got awesome self-striping yarn from the Yarnmonster, and I'm halfway done with my mother's Lotus Blossom Shawl. Her birthday is monday... Should I pack some more boxes or just knit on?...

By Veronique
On Saturday, June 24, 2006
At 6/24/2006 12:54:00 PM


The Renegade Craft Fair...

I wasn't so impressed with the Renegade Craft Fair last year: I found things either too kitchy/ironic/oh-so-trendy (like duct tape purses) or just plain "meh" (a felted purse for $40? I can make it myself, thanks). The only things I bought then were these really cool molecular model earrings and the best honey lip balm (as an aside, can I just ask what is up with the american custom of putting mint in lip balm? I want something velvety and moisturizing, not cool and tingly!).

Anyway. This year, I made out like a bandit! The Spiders were out in full force along with a few new friends. After checking out every single booth under the blazing sun, a few of us needed sustenance: Clockwise, starting with blogless Nancy in the blue shirt, Carrie, Katie, MichelleKnits, Jess (the YarnMonster!) and you can't see her, but she's really there right behind Jess: Sandra.
Not present for the food, but definitely there for the shopping: Lisa, Virginia, Steph, Kaitlyn with a sleepy MJ and Marie (who was selling her yarn at the Handspun Collective booth!).

All right, now you know who was there. On to my purchases:
A brown and orange shirt from unknown vendor (oops, no card), but Michelle bought the same one in yellow with a green inset, maybe she can tell me who we got it from? A blue polka dot shirt from Citizen Jane (who gave us 25% off for our next purchase!). These were so cute that Steph, Jess and Virginia each got one... I also got a swallow stencil from Stencil1, an A-line skirt pattern from Betsy Ross, 2 atomic cups from Neutrino Designs sold by Art Star (I saw them last year and didn't get them!), a tiny porcelain basket from Perch (also spotted last year), a plushy milk carton and chocolate donut from My Paper Crane (again, spotted last year), some fabric from RetroDepot Fabric, embroidery patterns from Sublime Stitching (Krazy Kitchen and Swanky Decor), 2 barrettes from Ferdinand (yes, 2, because after buying one, I couldn't find it in my bag, assumed I lost it, and I went back to buy it again. As Sandra predicted, once home, I found it at the bottom of my bag) and grapefruit honey lip balm from Sweet June.

OK, now it occurs to me that there's a lot of stuff I saw last year that I really liked but didn't buy for various reasons. Mostly I thought the merchandise was overpriced and that if I really wanted it, I could make it myself. But many of these things are not easy to make, and you have to appreciate all the work that goes into a design. Some items you just cannot copy!

I was happy to bring business to all the independent designers. Totally worth it!

By Veronique
On Sunday, June 18, 2006
At 6/18/2006 10:13:00 AM



First, of all, thanks to everyone who had premie baby knitting suggestions! I was surprised by the number of comments! Thanks for all those who de-lurked to help me, I really appreciate it. Anyway, as most of you suggested, I knit a hat. A teeny tiny hat, which might not be deep enough... Here it is atop my 2 lavalamps. (I've been clearing my apartment of clutter in anticipation of my move! Good bye lavalamps, it was nice knowing you, but you're a waste of my precious NYC space).

The #2 advice was to knit a blanket. I used the Log Cabin blanket pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting, but as I am not a fan of garter st (and because I only have one skein of Malabrigo), I decided to work in stockinette. Here's the RS:

Like my bag? It's from Brooklyn Industries. (It seems if I throw something out, I have to replace it with something else. Hey, at least the handbag is more useful than 2 lavalamps).
I think I like the WS of the blanket better:

Now, the Malabrigo is super soft, but I've been thinking of lining it with fabric... Just a thought... It would help prevent curling at the edges and most importantly, it would give me an excuse to go to Purl Patchwork.

By Veronique
On Sunday, June 11, 2006
At 6/11/2006 03:37:00 PM


I Need Your Knitting Advice!

What is a useful (not purely decorative) knitted item I could make for a premie baby? I have ~3 weeks.
You crafty knitters have made tons of baby stuff, right? Help!

By Veronique
On Monday, June 05, 2006
At 6/05/2006 10:42:00 PM


Necklaces galore!

Sadly, I do not have any knitting pictures to show. The new job is currently taking up all my cerebral capacities, and there's nothing left over for things like lace knitting (mom's birthday Lotus Blossom shawl) or designing (the lovely Soy Silk Phoenix will become a bolero one day!). Even twisting cables on the Mimosa sock is too much for me. Knitting a sleeve in K3 P2 ribbing is about all I can manage.
But! I have finally received my birthday gift: my mom got me a gift certificate at Small Things Designs, which I spotted a couple of years ago and have been drooling at ever since. Theresa Robinson custom-makes all the jewelry on her site: you pick the shape and the color, and 3-4 weeks later, voila! Here's my *two* necklaces.
First up, from the Originals Collection, I chose the asymmetrical necklace with a swallow, in red:
Originals-Asymmetrical Necklace-Swallow-Red
The red underlay is glass. Want to see the back?
Back of Swallow Necklace

Next, from the Modern Goods collection, I have the Double Strand necklace, with the "stone" cutout, in white:
Modern Goods-Double Strand Necklace-Stones-White
And the back:
Back of Double Strand Necklace
This necklace has an interesting clasp; you slide the thin metal rod on the left into the hollow cylinder on the right. It's a very snug fit. (Sorry, I did not intend to sound so dirty).
Interesting Clasp for the Double Strand Necklace

By Veronique
On Sunday, June 04, 2006
At 6/04/2006 12:05:00 PM