Wednesday, November 19, 2008

think RED:3 weeks to go!!

That's right. You better get them needles clicking- your scarf is needed by mid December at the Orphan Foundation for the Red Scarf Project.

And this may be the only time you see these words here: STEAL THE IMAGE. That's right, no need to email to ask permission , just get it from the Flickr page it's linked to and post it on your blog--or anywhere. It has the updated due date for this year and the address up top. And my copyright so leave it intact, please.

If you want a printable sized file of the image to hang in a shop or bulletin board, send me your email and I'll pop you the link. ezisusATsnetDOTnet .

Final thought: I know I'm recycling this poster from earlier years but for a good cause. A great cause. So bear with me and spread the word.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vermont trifecta perfecta

Montpelier on Saturday: great people, great yarn store, great town. The weather cooperated with lots'o wet grayness , perfect for whooping it up at The Knitting Studio. BTW? If you haven't been there in a while , check it out: spacious new storefront digs and friendly new owners. Here's the calm before the storm,
Not that I'm calling her a storm but Norma blew in a moment later. This might have been the last moment the shop was orderly until we closed them down.

Did I say Norma was famous? I meant infamous. So fun to spend the day with her, and see her CPH/no-H) in person. Her Dimorphous Mitts are also pretty spectacular. They so embody Montpelier's aesthetics- artsy, stylish and brilliantly functional. I predict a flurry of them soon.
Next came Sabra and Carol, posed with us above, two of the Mountain Fiber Folk, a cooperative of fiber farms and fiber artists even further north. Definitely Shear Spirit peeps. They cracked us up with tales of the local bar's mens knitting & drinking group (details over at Norma's). Norma seemed to know almost every knitter/blogger who popped in, including Sarah, and I knew many of the others- so it was a loud party. Knitting projects passed around, much admiring of yarns in action. Seriously, isn't it great when you see a yarn becoming a sweater and get a better sense of it? My Rhinebeck friend Barbara and her sister came by (Barbara -do you have a blog?) I know Barbara as the Mother-of-Sarah-Who-Knits-at-Landfills, it's part of her job. I know, don't you want that job too? um, maybe just the knitting part.

If Joan could have joined us it would have been a ShearSpirit reunion. Pop over to the bookblog and check out Joan's new knit, the Mendocino Vest. Rebecca, our book producer/agent was there.
I was teasing her about her passion for the sheep and dogs and not-so-much the patterns. Although a friend leaked the secret that now even Rebecca is knitting. Mission accomplished ! I left with a promise to knit her a cowl, and soon. At a delicious dinner down the street, the book's designer Linda Mirabile joined us- more blab and laughter, over wine and the kind of food you want to last for a week. That good. Seriously, my dinner made me a Brussels sprouts fan.

I left town with the lingering wish for a yarn souvenir, I'd been so busy knitting & talking I didn't get a chance to shop. My drive home goes right by Webs, but tragically (said sarcastically) they're closed on Sundays. Whatsa knitter to do? Duuuh! The Green Mountan Spinnery shop is open and also enroute.
The knitter and designer Eric Robinson was there working, I was thrilled to learn she likes our book, when she noticed me wearing the Montana Tunic (Rav link). As a perfect footnote, no groaning, she taught me to cast on two socks (or mittens) on one circular, something I've been mentally playing with but hadn't quite wrapped my brain around . And I left with two skeins of squeezy soft Mountain Mohair for Rebecca's cowl.

Now that's what I call a weekend.

Friday, November 14, 2008


It's the Lumpy Bumpy Worm scarf. Last seen here in its larval stage (at the end of the post). After you biologically clever types commented, mentioning organisms like worms with teeth, I was reminded of an aquarium exhibit of deep sea worms that live in geo thermal vents and..well, I really had to put it away for a couple of weeks. I wasn't so sure I was liking it, but as it grew, the weight of the yarn pulled the rows down , and it began to look interesting and textural instead of...I don't know, clotted up and organism-ish.
I'm over that now. It's very soft . I made it wider than the pattern suggested, so it used more than one skein, its a quick, fun knit , Lumpy Bumpy by Charlene on size 11 needles. I may put the leftovers together with a ball of solid Farm House Yarn that coordinates, and make my niece a chunky hat to go with it. This is, of course, the first of the holiday knitting.

My sister Lulu graciously agreed to model it for you all, she'd popped in to use my internet as hers was down. There is nothing like older sister pressure. "um, Lu? You can't leave here until you model a scarf. Yes. For the blog. Yes. Outside. Its not raining that hard".
Her observation: "Some scarves are big warm functional things that you tuck into your coat. And some are accessories. This.... is an accessory!".

Sunday, November 09, 2008

more knitting, less filler

Front & center: Imogen. I am so enjoying the basic stockinette production on this odd sweater.
Odd because it's almost impossible to photograph it in a way that shows a shape, it's sort of an origami type thing as you knit it in one piece, the sleeves wrapping over the shoulder attached to the back. I'm almost done with sleeve #2 now. I've had little time to truly sit & knit over the past few days so I sneak a row whenever I can, I'm just that into it.

For instance, Saturday am. You'd have found me sitting on a commercial fishing dock in New Bedford , Massachusetts, in the fog, finishing off the first sleeve, then picking out the provisional cast-on for the second , in the company of the Deadliest Catch/Ice Road Truckers film production crew. Not the knittiest gang to hang with.
NBC show Swords boat Eagle Eye II crew comes into port in Fairhaven MA
I was there on assignment for NBC to shoot some publicity photography for their newest real life/macho job series, Swords. We were literally waiting for our ship to come in. I had less than an hour before the action started but that just shows you my level of dedication to this cardigan, I can not put 'er down. Until large men in slicker overalls are jumping ship towards me.NBC show Swords boat Eagle Eye II crew comes into port in Fairhaven MA

NBC show Swords boat Eagle Eye II crew comes into port in Fairhaven MA
I love the ropes you find on commercial wharfs, like gigantic yarn except the plies are mondo sized.

Maybe I'll have Imogen done by next Saturday, when I'm up north for my Shear Spirit booksigning at The Knitting Studio in Montpelier VT. It's going to be a lovely afternoon, 1-3. My friend Norma said she'll be there. Her wonderful blog is part of my daily nutrition; if either she or the cereal are gone when I sit down each weekday at breakfast, watch out.

Stop by, check out the book and bring yer knitting. Or your ships' mooring lines. You know I'll be happy to see you either way.

Friday, November 07, 2008

don't harsh my mellow *

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A splendid week to be an American.
My day as an Election Official (which is the same job but not as cool a title as Mary Lou in Minnesota) was well worth the 4:30 am start. By 5:30 we had a line down the hall waiting in our little district, and polls didn't open till 6. My job was Demonstrator/Greeter which is the voting way of saying I was Bouncer . I stood by the entrance, controlled the flow, explained our new-ish ballot system and reminded folks to get their id's out, without a pause till the crowd thinned at 1pm. Then the oddest thing, it got quieter,with a steady but much slower flow of voters passed through, as I chatted with neighbors and cranked some major pea green stockinette on the Imogen.
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You know what was the coolest thing about being an Election Official? This democracy thing really works. The polls were neutral, there was respect, dignity , sincerity and a complete vacuum of politics inside the building.

Even better was the next morning when I learned my college son in Florida and my 19 yo niece, in college in Boston , had called each other to scream together about our new president. I'm old enough to know here are few times- if any- that you feel that excited by an election, that you feel hope and huge potential for the world we live in to be better.

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* I used this phrase while blabbing at SnB the other night and drew blank looks from my fellow knitters- but seriously? don't!

Monday, November 03, 2008

nana na na

Hey hey.
I considered NaMoPoBlo but it was already the 2nd day of the month at the time. Too late!
Then I thought about NaKniSweMo but the sweater I intend to knit this month was cast on while it was October, and anyway, my life is all about deadlines, do I need more?
Na. Definitely nahhhh.
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I caught some major stockinette mojo yesterday anyway and now the back piece of my Imogen is close to done. It has an unusual construction- the row count is the width, the back wraps over your shoulders and becomes part of the sleeve tops, you pick them up and knit down. So, I have no idea if this'll fit correctly just looking at the section.
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Yeah I swatched for gauge. Yeah, my gauge seems to have changed about as drastically as the yarn dyes do from skein to skein.
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The challenge of working with crazily varying skeins of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky in colorway 109 was giving me fits until I decided to surrender to the green .If I wasn't lazy I'd go grab all of the skeins so you could see the range from fairly consistent yellowy light green skeins that are thick, to noticeably thinner yarn in skeins that range from pale yellow green to forest pine, to in the middle mossy/olivey/khaki green. I did some switching out every two rows to blend, which only made things stripier. I'm trying to keep it symmetrical from side to side of the garment. My whole reason to knit this sweater, beside the obvious that it looks cool, is to use the Araucania vertically, knowing I'll be unhappy with my , um, fluffy, appearance if it went horizontal.
Families and kids at Derby Public Library. a Community Foundation grantee, during he Harvest Festival
Enough about that. If you're a US citizen go vote!! I'm working at a polling place (you know those polling place officials you hear about? That's me) from 5 am to close. The busier, the better!


I'm trying to see if I can get through a post without an alpaca. Day at a time, and all that.
I'm borrowing from my mom : her FO's spied last weekend.
From The Knitter's Book of Yarns, the Baby Soft Cardigan, in a superwash wool but I've forgotten which. The three pigs pewter buttons, love'em.
This one from 12 Month of Knitting,in a cotton blend (Rowan? Debbie Bliss? Can't remember but I know I was with her when she bought it last summer). Again with the buttons. She knits them for a benefit auction for a DC charter school . Every year she does 3 or 4 , never the same pattern twice. Last year she did a Mariposa Cardigan from Shear Spirit in bright limey green with flower buttons and I didn't manage to get a shot of it. arrrgh. The version in the book is below, as a substitute.
Just when you think I might get through the post without an alpaca, look what sneaks in.

and then there's my nephew, Cory. His first NYC acting gig, in this hiphop video, you can't miss him. He's Tom Cruise. Dance white boy!