Tuesday, March 30, 2010

no leavening for you!

Etsy staff in kitchen at lunch, in Brooklyn NY
Here's lunch time in the kitchen  at etsy headquarters in Brooklyn.  I posted a report of  my behind-the-scenes tour  over at Two Shear Spirits, my much neglected blog with Joan Tapper. Go, look, read. It was  peeking behind the curtain in Oz. Except without that weird wizard guy or multicolored horses. But with Toto-like dogs.
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Happy Passover to those observing. I made  kickass matza balls last night. I was so pleased with this particular batch I wanted to photograph them in their partially cooked glory. But, is there any cuisine less photogenic than Ashkenzaic Jewish?  I'd have had to suspend operations and style them beyond reality.  So, instead, here's a link about the White House seder.  Growing up, this is a scene that we'd maybe imagine in a comedy sketch, in that ironic stretching the humor way.  An African American president leading a seder? In the White House?  Love it!
I'm making macaroons tomorrow. Maybe they'll be prettier.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

funky old lady slippers*

Calexico in Carroll Gardens, and pocketbokk slippers
You know that phrase belle laide? The slippers, I mean, not the woman.
A last minute gift for my colorful friend, Carol.  They match the deep turquoise porch on her shrimp pink house. Inside, she has a vibrationally lime green kitchen. Carol's idea of a neutral is lemon yellow. Put in her  perspective, these are sedate.
Calexico in Carroll Gardens, and pocketbokk slippers 
shot really too late to get anything reasonably normal, at iso 1600
Periodically she asks me to knit her socks, and I tell her no.  Inspiration struck when I thought about her birthday gathering, with only a couple hours of knitting time ahead.
They're a version of Pocketbook Slippers. I always assumed the name meant you could slip them in your purse. But no.Turns out  the construction looks like a pocketbook. Look here, or on Ravelry here . Lots of people remembered to do what I didn't, and shot them flat.
I used  this pattern. Modified for bulky yarn and a womens size L foot.
yarn: Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Bulky, 1 skein (with plenty left). Intense turquoise.
needles: size us 8
gauge: about 3.5 stitches/ inch. Its not critical, these are multi-sized.
my modifications: cast on 3 stitches (instead of 5)
follow directions but stop doing the increases when you have 16 stitches (instead of 22). You could do 12 or 14 for smaller feet. These babies streeeeetch. Follow directions for construction, embellish with mismatched buttons.
notes: These might be less funky in a lighter weight yarn.  Next time I'll leave give the project  an extra 1/2 hour and do more careful embellishments, I could see more, smaller buttons. And some embroidery. Or  crocheted flowers. Can you tell associating with Ellen and Maryse is starting to rub off?

*  the slipper style, not the lady being gifted
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There's still  room.
1st Ever Photography for Knitters Weekend at Juniper Moon Farm May 15 & 16.

Monday, March 15, 2010

pixels & lambs & springtime... OH MY!

Are you free the weekend of May 15th & 16th?  Yeah?  
I had this little brainstorm with Susan Gibbs, the wonder shepherd over at Juniper Moon Farm : what if we had a photo workshop weekend, at her place, near Charlottesville VA. I'd teach hands-on digital photography for knitters, and bloggers and fiber lovers, and talk about shooting FO's and lighting yarn and where to pose people in their new knits. We'd edit, and talk about how to make your photos sparkle online. And, of course, we'd knit.
And she said, what if it were in spring, when there'd be lambs and green grass and sunshine and rainbows and unicorns......OK, maybe not the last two but there may as well be.  There'll be hens and yarn and her hand dyed fiber, too. (and this just in, surrender to the cuteness: brand new kids. )
 cashmere kid at Goat Knoll, from Shear Spirit

Space is limited. Register now.  Hope you can come !
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for a peek at my  last Photography Workshop for Knitters click the link,  or this one from the fall. Of course, with a whole weekend and a fiber farm at the end of our lenses, we can really go wild!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

random improvement sunday

step 1: Photographed, printed & collaged on cardboard around 1996.   An alternative to a straight landscape magazine assignment. Obviously influenced by the brilliant & popular David Hockney. Just as obviously not a successful solution to the assignment.
The magazine ran a really much better image I shot on medium format chrome film. I stashed this behind a bookcase and forgot about it until
step 2: I was moving the bookcase  in January.  Tossed it into the trash until
step 3: in one of the snowstorms, it blew out and landed beneath a trash can, where nature collaged the leaves,  and we locals embossed the footprints. Found last week when the snow melted.  I kind of like it now.
Last week was sort of lost around here, my oldest baby was home on break from college in Miami.  We all slacked off to enjoy the rare togetherness.
Which, because he is in culinary school and the weather was horrible, mostly involved eating. Hockneyized view of my guys outside our favorite sushi dive.
official disclaimers: That's a Hockneyized iphone photo. There is no such thing as randomly improved sunday, I just made it up. My older son doesn't really look like a little old man, he is freezing and wearing his leather jacket under an old parka. My younger son doesn't usually squint. I loved seeing them together for a few days. They were both anxious to get to the sushi. The restaurant looks nothing like the photo from its linked website, that is a hoot. It is in an old dry cleaning store, and the brick is painted with the words No Fading Odors.

Monday, March 08, 2010

got the itis


Maybe it's the  the light on the tree buds,or the explosion of pussy willows at the farmer's market, but I have got a case of both startitis and finishitis.
Exhibit A: the Airy Cardigan from last May, now just needing one more sleeve sewn in, buttons, and a good disciplinary blocking.
Exhibit B: while forcing myself to get those clownish socks done, I am swept away by dreams of much much nicer socks, thanks to Wendy Johnson and her new book, Socks from the Toe Up.

Seriously, look a these. Sportweight. Love. The whole book is light and airy and full of great looking designs, I do believe I am going to try a pair of toe up, soon. Extra snaps for the layout, the type is a good sized, no squinting at the page. And I'm not just saying this because we share a publisher and they sent me the book as an example of stellar tech editing. (True, btw).

I'm also crazy to make a shawl, all of a sudden. I've got a fab red skein begging to be a Traveling Woman. Or maybe a Multinomah. Or an Ishbel. or a Citron. or Brandywine. I'm still at that fickle, everything looks good to me pattern picking stage. Can you tell? Feel free to recommend a not-too-tricky, not-too-frilly shawl or wrap.
Looky here! Also started. The much awaited English translation of the final book from the Stieg Larsson trilogy, thanks to a UK pal who sent me a copy pre-US relelase. My body might be here but I'll be in Sweden for the next week or so trying to sort out that mess Lizbet Zalander is in.