Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the lil bit longer workshop

Photography for Knitters  Workshop action 10-4 this past Sunday at Knit New Haven
Photo Workshop for Knitters 10-4There was a whole lotta shooting going on.
Photo Workshop for Knitters 10-4Photo Workshop for Knitters 10-4

We played around with different background colors & patterns for yarn & fiber.Photo Workshop for Knitters 10-4
This one's a beautifully subtle Noro striped scarf by Linda (Reiswear is her Rav name.) It's a creamy natural Cascade Wool/Silk with a skein of the ever present Silk Garden. I want to knit a shawl with these two yarns now.
Photo Workshop for Knitters 10-4
I am trying to revive the floating  humans look, enough of all this white space everywhere. I know you're sitting there trying to figure out what patterns Rebecca is wearing above, aren't you? They are her own designs, you can bug her at her blog , Archiknist, to write them up.
Photo Workshop for Knitters 10-4
Bad weather kept us mostly inside. But not entirely.
We had a  a wonderful camera ready  Central Park Hoodie model.

Photo Workshop for Knitters 10-4 I used to love looking at those I Spy books with my sons, I  think this is the knitters' version. How many handknits can you count? In fact I think I want to shoot a knitting pattern booklet that's all knitters in handknits shooting other knitters in handknits. Classic Elite, are you listening?
At the end of the day we had a slideshow of everyones' work, you can see some  here and here.(scrolldown).   Some fabulous images. I can't believe how lucky I am to keep getting talented, enthusiastic and kind knitters in these workshops. Fun! Thanks to the Sunday crowd for playing along.
Photo Workshop for Knitters 10-4
Special shout out thanks to Becca, our Nutmeg Knitter, who was willing to chill for the cause.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Palisade chunky cowl, handknit
Named for those crazy beautiful vertical rock formations along the Hudson. A cushy chunky cowl knit from 1 skein each of Silk Garden Chunky and Misti Alpaca Super Chunky (50/50 alpaca-wool).
Palisade chunky cowl, handknit
My own design, you can download a copy of the pattern for yourself here.

   Free but please consider a donation to help Haiti.
Palisade chunky cowl, handknit 
The mixed weights, chunky and even chunkier, create  a nice 3 dimensional texture to the fabric, it almost looks woven, especially in the decorative rounds near the top. A great last minute gift. Especially for yourself if the weather has been cold & bitter. Ask me how I know.
It looks good around your head- if you had abundant hair, it'll flow out the top.  I couldn't quite pull it off for the photos, but when I find a model who can, I'll add it in, OK?

Fun fact: Silk Garden Chunky is so much softer than it's skinnier Silk Garden kin. I don't know why, but it's true. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

tossing off FOs & catching ZZZs

Red Scarf action!  Linda & June at their shop,  Knit New Haven, hoisting this year's harvest of red scarves. Let me tell you, those are some really, really nice scarves. Since I was heading down to DC and was going to see the OFA folks, I personally delivered them. You sent yours, right? If not, you're one scarf ahead for next year, just remember where you put it till then.
My two scarves were finished and amongst the delivered.  I kind of hid the striped one in the bottom, it was looking more rustic and folksy by the minute. No need to reassure me, I have faith a rustic, folksy loving student will be matched with it.  It's just that there were so many lovely, very polished looking knits. The top one is my worsted weight version of the Gathered Scarf designed by Maryse. Great pattern! Considering  it involves increasing , decreasing & changing needle size- not difficult but a little bit more time consuming than your straight knit- it still seems to be an uber quick knit. The ruches add high entertainment value, that must be it. I might try an  even chunkier one for myself, just for funs. Or see what happens if you knit it as a tube ina lighter weight.
I also knit a thick cowl for myself that I've failed to shoot, it's starting to look a little worn so I'd best hurry that one up. Me not finding a way to take a photo of an FO is so ridiculous, I shot 1000 images in the last two days but no, sorry, too hard to include a cowl. L-A-M-E.1109famVar_527
A carbohydratey FO. Soon as it got chilly in November I was back with the breads from that work of genius Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes. I've been doing different filled breads for a while, sometimes cinnamon & brown sugar, sometimes cheese or vegetables or both. Rarely do they come out as evenly swirled as this one, usually there are unsightly bulges. So I have to show it. . It's the Eurpean Peasant Bread recipe with sundred tomatoes and sharp cheddar baked in. And very super crusty (extra cornmeal on it.) FYI you can't go wrong with that filling. Stuff your old shoes with sundried tomatoes & sharp cheddar and bake: also good.
You know what else is taking up my time? Sleeping. I jumped right on Ann and Arianna's bandwagon. Soon all those REM will result in a thinner, cheerier me. With less problems remembering stuff. If it works, I'll be able to remember to tell you about it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

UNusually fab day at camp

Fiber Camp Boston:  It didn't feel un-anything, at all.
 1109famVar_588 I should have known, if ANYONE can pull off a crowd sourced fiber Unconference, taught by the attendees, everyone is a star, on a freakin frakkin freezing day on the Charles, it'd be Guido Stein & the Common Cod
First order of business, consult the board of classes and decide where to go. Click to see a view of our little CT delegation: me, Katy , Rebecca, by the big board.
 Rebecca taught Intuitive Heel knitting. Very freeing. We don't need no stinkin' instructions! I've officially faced down my slackass sock attitude. You heard it here. Rebecca  figures out the architecture of a 3D knit project in an instant, she's our local SnB's secret weapon against failed projects.1109famVar_561 Maybe you've knit some of her wonderful  designs , many are on  Knitty . It set the tone for the day, lots of friendly sharing & inspirations.
After lunch I had a fabulously good-natured group in my class, Photographing FO's on Real People. If you've met me , you know I have no trouble talking, um, A LOT  on this subject. Condensing it into 75 minutes was the challenge,  Caro jumped in wielding the reflector, and being all kinds of supportive.  And- I'd just met Caro right that minute, so talk about cool. Here's her view of the class (thx!)
Alice modeled, I tried to demonstrate how I choose one aspect of a sweater to  highlight. It was all kinds of spontaneous, heh,  wouldn't you know,  I chose a model FO that had great yarn, an unusual construction (big. drapey. sleeves.) AND wonderful small details. Challenge.I hope I wasn't too bossy, it's so easy in a short class to have the train go off track.
Seven characters in search of a ply? Some groups met on the BlackBox Stage
Katy did amigurumi, and some double knitting,  Rebecca checked out the drop spindlers/pliers , I was in a yarn tasting swap. I'm scheming a more pimped out version of the One Way Trip scarf, so want short yardages from others. The gathering, hanging around and niddy noddy sharing was fun ,too.  Maybe more than anything else, so energizing to feel the creative spark of everyone organizing a day together become something better than the sum of our parts.

I'm heading south to work in Washington most of this week. Back at you with some FO's, and red scarves.
ps. yes, that is me, in Real Simple magazine this month on page 107. I am wearing 2 handknits, btw. It cracks me up every time I see it, we really do look like that ,sans the son away at school, you can barely see Gabe in the fold of the mag, Dave cut his hair & beard unusually short of for the occasion, and no fluffy drifts of dog hair show on the floor. phew!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

on un-convening

Iris Cafe, Brooklyn Heights NY lunch
Doesn't the first Monday of the new year feel like you're plunging back into the water after a break out on the floating dock?
I'm jumping in with plans of happy collaborations. There's the new book project with Joan Tapper (my Shear Spirit co-author)  about craft & knitting & community & action. It gives me the chance to collaborate with a bunch of folks I enjoy and  admire. And to travel!  There's the upcoming Photography for  Knitters Workshops, (btw? New Haven on January 24 only has 2 seats left but Hartford area on January 16, come on down, plenty of room).
I even took a leap of faith and signed on for Fiber Camp Boston next weekend, January 9 & 10.   Do you know about this? It's  an Un-conference for knitters &  spinners. Another brainchild of the Common Cod Fiber Guild.  I have to admit at first feeling partly confused and partly not quite cool enough. An un-conference? There's no staff, it's crowd sourced. Umm, yes, really.  You register online. That part's not  hard at all. Then you look to see what classes are being offered, in 1/2 hour or 75 minute sessions.  It's updated all the time.  Or you can teach any class you want- you describe it in advance on the wiki that's linked online to the home page, and people comment on whether they're interested. Or you can list a class you're dreaming of taking and someone might offer it. Anyone who signs up can teach. When you get there you can take any class that's listed until it fills up on the board. I haven't seen anything about pairing wines with what yarn you're knitting but if they offer a tasting, I am all over it.
Sounds so crazy it might just work. The oddness of going in and editing the website to join in might be putting some folks off. Do not fret! Somehow it's going to all fall in place, and the fee to play is small.  You can't actually break the wiki. If you put something in the wrong spot, it'll get edited by someone else correcting the flow. So very MMX isn't it?
I offered to teach Photographing FO's on Real People Models, on Saturday, if you're interested in playing along for 75 minutes.  Bring your camera, of course. Maybe I'll see you there?

Friday, January 01, 2010

one day doesn't make a trend. right?

Maybe the cosmos heard me saying something over tequila drinks last night ,like" yup, not sad to see 2009 end at all. Sucky year, looking forward to this new one, yup, sure am."

Because I think it's possible  there's a little cosmic yucking it up going on.
By 6:30 am , day 1 2010,  I was awake and helping a spectacularly sick* 16 yo .  And when I say spectacularly here,  I am sparing you the details that'd cause unpleasant gagging on your part.
Back to sleep.  By 9 am, my mom had called to say my aunt had passed away.  It wasn't a surprise. But it was still sad.
After that, we  pretty much bagged plans for the day.  Figuring staying home inside watching movies all day would help us avoid things falling out of the sky and stuff like that. Besides we could observe our son turning shades of green up close personal.
It wasn't all a  bummer  My sister sent this phone cam shot of my niece in the birthday One Way Trip scarf. She likes it!  She looks a little tired here but give the girl a break- it was new years and her 21st birthday last night.

Aside from being a total knockoff of the Madden scarf, they said it looked like  Urban Outfitters , a little like the one linked. And it isn't too far off from this at Anthropologie.

I'm realizing I could totally get into knocking off other scarves from those sites, like the lightweight black one with all the crazy pom poms along the edge. Could be fun.
So. Day 2, 2010,  looking to be better. Bring it on.
*stomach virus, not party induced, requiring real sympathy