Wednesday, November 30, 2011

this is the sweater that never ends...

* 4 days left to enter  my coffee giveaway. 
That's 4 bags of coffee and a mug, what are you waiting for???!! *
At this rate I will permanently have this sweater for Wip It Wednesday. Even if I finish the 3 gajillion other wips around this joint. This one'll just keep turning up.
You last heard about me finishing off the sleeves so I'd have a nice new Cadence sweater to wear while booksigning and working on a photo shoot in wintery, snowy Minnesota. Done the first night there. I slipped it on. It fit !  Like a glove. 
 Cascade Eco Wool.: a desert island yarn if I ever I had one.
Problem #1 : I do not want a wooly sweater that fits like a second skin. Not hardly. I was aiming for an inch or so of positive ease. A live-in-this sweater with room to layer. I'd measured and swatched and got gauge and how could this have happened? (also how could I have not tried on a topdown raglan? ). Consider that I spent most of my trip with the wonderful knitters from The Yarnery, a group that surely has the wherewithall to stop me from this kind of crazy.  They offered aggressive blocking.  oh, never mind....I tore it out back up to the armpits. 
And acquired some new needles, the square sided ones.why not?
Problem # 2: I was surprised to find that though I'd gotten gauge on US 9 needles, I had somehow managed to knit the whole sweater on size 8's. 
And so, once again, in progress.
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Here's a  future wip : My nephew said he'd like  "one of those hats with very long earflaps attached.  So long that they have pockets for hands."
My nephew is about 6 feet tall, so I guess we're talking truly long earflaps. Maybe this would work, with pockets.  More WIP WEDNESDAY posts linked here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

she shoots sheep shots, yet again

* Coffee giveaway still in full swing--go enter. Java! *
Today's Photo Heavy Monday is from Beaver Brook Farm in Old Lyme,  CT.  I had a sheep & lamb visiting jones on Friday. What ? That doesn't happen to you ?
The back lighting through the ears slays me. 0181_GZuckerBeaverBrook 0168_GZuckerBeaverBrook
Sun worshippers? Or posing?
We were a day early for Open Farm Days, which features lots of shearing & kettle corn.
Fortunately, the shearing was already underway. Unfortunately, no kettle corn. 0218_GZuckerBeaverBrook
OTOH with no one else visiting, we got to meet the first lamb of the season up close & personal.0254_GZuckerBeaverBrook
 They also have a cheese shop, and butcher counter.0259_GZuckerBeaverBrook
Handspun mitts & hat. Love.0255_GZuckerBeaverBrook
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If you click on the link up top , you'll see you can go visit Beaver Brook Farm almost every day. It is the best antidote I can think of to the barrage of commercial, overwrought holiday stuff going on. Also, really excellent cheese
I like to serve their Pleasant Son because we are what we eat. 

If you don't happen to live around here, try googling "farms to visit" and your location.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

coffee giveaway, notated

Coffee. Love everything about it*.  A big honking hot mug to start the day, every day.  Iced on a summer afternoon.  Coffee ice cream? Yes. Decaf with a shot of liqueur for dessert.  I like the kick from caffeine, the smell of  beans roasting, the ritual of the coffee break in a group setting.**  And professionally speaking?  We location photographers are notorious, and deeply opinionated, coffee snobs.***
some wipps 11/11 
3 of my many wips: a sweater re-do, a baby blanket, one of 2  Fussy Cuts in progress
You know what goes great with coffee? Projects underway. I spent a lot of time in crafters' studios last year working on Craft Activism .  Everyone had some kind of mug within reach. You know how it is, you look at what you need to get done, go brew yourself a pot of coffee, take a sip, feel all centered and gathered and refocussed, and dig in. Making stuff and coffee. They just go well together.
coffee giveaway
Which explains why I'm doing this uncharacteristically commercial****  giveaway (keep reading! details coming!).  In September I taught photography at a crafting event sponsored by Starbucks. There were coffee urns all over the place, full of fresh brewed java, and coffee stations in the hallways, and coffee beans in our goodie bags, coffee fumes in the air, and even a coffee tasting with coffee chefs ***** in the hallway. It smelled divine. It tasted fabulous. I may have overindulged just a bit ******And at some point, possibly just after discovering I really like Italian Roast, I entered a raffle.
I completely forgot about it, until the email saying I won. Mmmm. Coffee shipped to my door, with accessories. Since I have good manners, I sent a note of thanks, which led to a conversation about my deep, deep appreciation of coffee, which led to the totally cool folks at Starbucks offering me a giveway for the blog.  Just in time for that need for extra fuel this crafting gifting season, right?
GIVEAWAY: 4 bags of Starbucks coffee and a mug, shipped right to your home
HOW TO ENTER: leave me a comment saying what you're making this holiday season. Or maybe you're buying handmade, or commissioning a handcrafted gift, or brewing beer or steeping fruitcakes.....just let me know about you and handmade this season in a comment and include your email address.  I'll do a random number for the winner.
DEADLINE:  12 noon est Dec 4th.The Starbucks folks will ship it to you.
Good luck
and now for the notations
* In truth, I don't like coffee stains. Sadly, I am really really good at collecting them.
**  I met Dave when looking for someone to take a coffee break with while studying in the library at the U of MN.
***  Location photographers are always traveling, and we need to kill time, or get shelter, or use the internet, or a bathroom while on the road. Coffee shops, good for all of the above. The snobbery? Well, when I  was first working with Joan Tapper, we were traveling through Arizona to meet the Navajo Churro sheep ranchers. She  accused all photographers of coffee snobbery. I vigorously denied it, and less than 5 minutes later made us go several blocks out of our way to find a cup of coffee I deemed "good enough". You know what I love about Joan? She doesn't gloat.
****  Can I just say? I like to support local coffee shops when I can but man, when  I can find a Starbucks in the middle of nowhere, or a small place serving their coffee, I am beyond happy. (Also, they always have decent bathrooms, music and good egg salad sandwiches.)
*****  I am not sure they were chefs, but they were dressed like chefs and knew a lot about coffee. I don't think I was hallucinating. But you never know.
****** The top of my head lifted off. Just a little.

Monday, November 21, 2011

whirlwind weekend

Determined to stick with my format, I'm popping by to report that my last 4 days in Minneapolis have been flawless. If you don't count weather.
location photography
Malika, the makeup artist/stylist extraordinaire working her magic
I came to Minneapolis for a photo shoot, which took up 3 of 5 days, it was  one of those projects that didn't really feel like work, even though we were cranking the whole time. Love these clients. And my friend TwinSet Ellen made her photo assisting debut.
She is a woman of many talents--these are the props she procured when we rejected apples, bananas, oranges, pinecones, snowballs and coffee mugs as possible objets on a tabletop in a set up. 
I got to hang out at The Yarnery for a booksigning and some knitting on Thursday night, visited with in-laws and old friends, had some local beer, finished a sweater, unraveled most of a sweater. I can't talk about that now. Literally. I discovered whiskey in tea with honey and lemon is good, as well as good for laryngitis....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

tip more than wip

It's more about travel in process today, Connecticut to Minnesota. A state so chill it's already below freezing. Wool weather !

view of some spectacular clouds, BigGuy by window not willing to skootch so I could get a better hispta for you
I almost finished the 2nd sleeve of my Cadence enroute , wedged as I was in the middle seat between some BigGuys on both flights (bad luck in tight seats).- so, if you happen to be stopping by the Craft Activism booksigning at The Yarnery in st paul tomorrow evening 6-8, you might see its debut.
(I'd add links but posting fr the phone is limiting , sorry)
Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 14, 2011

rhinebeck: better late than....

Photo Heavy Monday would be Photo Heavier today if the new cheapo card reader hadn't immediately broken and corrupted a 2 gig card full images from Rhinebeck. Luckily I had a few on another card from the NY Sheep & Wool Fest last month.
this year's hats at Rhinebeck 
This year's hats on my friends from New Haven- LOVE the fat sequins.

Seacolors Yarn 
Nanney Kennedy's Seacolors yarns from her Meadowcroft Farm

Ann Shayne, Gale Zucker, Kay Gardiner, french fries 
None of the setting's beauty but all of the fun I had with Ann & Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting.

Sister Lulu and I found this amazing B&B at the last minute, right on the Hudson in Tivoli.0049_GZucker1111famvar 
(from the Lulucam) It was less a fawncy B&B, more a visit to an eccentric auntie who last left the premises in 1942. In a word, fabulous. Although unconventional: I had a direct view of the Hudson- and a jar of home canned pickles as a bookend.
booksigning at NY Sheep & Wool
I spent a great deal of my time at the Craft Activism table in the author's area. Gale Zucker & Kirsten Karpur
with great company like Craft Activism contributors Kirsten Karpurbooksigning
and Ann Weaver, helping me show the Fussy Cuts blanket while I continue to flap my handsbooksigning
Happily I was right next to Anna Hrachovec who shares my hand skillz. I LOVE her MochiMochi work.
Gale Zucker & Laura Nelkin 
I finally met Laura Nelkin (in her Iota capelet) ! She is so tiny- she seemed so much larger on Twitter, where we've become friends. This photo also demonstrates that restraint in color and a natural palette is a better choice than...what was I thinking? An explosion of color in my attire.  Note to self: please knit some solid headbands. Please.
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thanks to my sister, Linda Hali Zucker , for documenting the action in these photos in the authors area or this would be a Photo Slim post!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

whatever weekend: a lot like random

1) We (Joan and I and our wonderful collection of contributors and subjects) are thrilled that Craft Activism made Amazon's Best Books 2011 list.  Seriously woo hoooooo! I am waiting for  a sash to arrive,  you know , like Miss America wears, saying "Top Ten Best in Crafts"  so I can wear it at future book events. I do so hope it's hand stitched.
photo by Kristin Nicholas. Yarnbombed sunflowers!

2) If you're thinking, well, I wouldn't mind having a copy of the book, you are reading this at the right minute.  Hop over to Kristin's blog where she is doing a giveaway, ending today (Nov 13th).  More about my meeting her here.

3) I'm trying to finish up that Cadence sweater before I leave for a few days working  in Minnesota this week. My first order of business there is a booksigning at The Yarnery, the legendary shop in St. Paul.  I'll be joined by Mary Lou Egan, the mitten designing Craft Activism cover girl. If you're  in the area stop by, say hi and talk craft activism with me Thursday this week, Nov 18,  6-8 pm

4) I'm overwhelmed with indecision about what to knit with a sweater's worth of Malabrigo Rios in my fave color Pearl Ten.  I think I want a cardi bur I could be talked into a pullover. As long as the variations in the yarn don't look too horizontally blotchy.  Suggestions?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

in which we revisit the big ass granny square

It's wip it wednesday,  crochet edition. Remember my bigass granny square from last winter,  put aside when working on it's enormous woolly/alpaca self was suffocating?
It's almost done. I stalled on the edging.  Did I want a kind of fancier crochet stitch for the final round? Shells ? Fringe? Corkscrews? A ruffle maybe? What about colors? Too light will get dirty and frame it too much. Too dark will be too dark.  Overthink much? 
When I spread it out on the old picnic table, I'd forgotten it's Bobo's perch for Keeping The Yard Squirrel Free. He was on it in a split second, scanning the treetops.
  I decided this didn't need anything fancier than a round of double crochet in every stitch followed by a round of single crochet, same way. For colors, I went to my fallback position of local colors.
The orangey/rust round was almost done when I noticed I'd done the first two sides in double crochet, then absent mindedly continued 1.5 more sides in single crochet. Glad crochet unzips out fast. 
I don't mind this not being done yet, it's just plain old fun & so quickly gratifying . And it's already been put to work for warmth. When camping up at Fiber College, I woke up the first night FREEZING. I didn't have warm enough bedding in my tent.  I did have an almost finished BigAss Granny Square. Slept with it on me, nice and toasty, crochet hook and all for the following 2 nights. 
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You can find more wip wednesdays over on this blog.  Oooh, I almost forgot. Need an idea for some wips, yerself?
LOVE Anna Kuo Lukito's new design, Anacortes (Ravelry) or from her site, Crafty Diversions.