Wednesday, February 29, 2012

we are what we make?

Head up, lenses up SoCal , there're Photography for Knitter workshops heading your way mid March. If you're a member of the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Knitting Guild, I am honored to be your March program and hope you'll sign up for the workshop (march 17/18). If you're not a member , find me at Wildfiber in Santa Monica on march 18th (call them to register) and at Loop & Leaf in Santa Barbara  for a Photo Safari on March 20. We're working on some Craft Activism booksignings, too, stay tuned
About a year ago, under the influence of Ellen, Maryse  and a massive quantity of partial skeins, I started crocheting my Big Ass Granny Square afghan.
Little did I know that by the time I finally finished the last long round of edging last week....
I would actually BE one.
The Big Ass Granny Square afghan is one continuous square of worsted weight, natural fiber yarn -mostly wool with some alpaca and silk blends in there. It's the Chocolate Box Square in Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks . Awesome resource. It's an alternative to your basic granny square--I like that the little tiles of color line up instead of being  staggered.
0573_0212GZuckerFamV There's no sequence or repeats or plan - I chose colors  by contrast or by varying warms and colds. I ended up buying 3 skeins, when I ran out of their colors but thought I'd miss having them in the mix: orange,  grey and a green. Other than that, I love that I can see bits of sweaters and hats I knit,  yarns from gifts for loved ones, yarn for test knitting projects for both Shear Spirit and Craft Activism, yarn I dyed myself , and yarn my dear knitting friends enabler, Mary Lou,  sent me when I worried I might be running low.
I've already put Bobo on notice that he is NOT allowed to cozy up on this one. And I'm  plotting another, for a gift request.

Credit to my friend & colleague Edwina Stevenson, she photographed me in my afghan  at The Inn at Montpelier, where we stayed while working on a photo shoot for a client up in Vermont last week. I wonder if the inn staff thought we were crazy, dancing around in an afghan on a chilly VT back porch?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

recent acquisitions

Heads up: workshops coming up soon, limited spaces, more listings here 
• March 2 Tarrytown NY Photo Bootcamp for Crafters & Etsians 10-1
• March 17th Photo for Knitters at Wildfiber in Santa Monica/LA 2:30-5:30
• March 20th Photo Safari for Knitters in Santa Barbara CA at Loop & Leaf, 10-1
• and if you're a member of the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers, March 17 & 18
When I packed up after the fun Craft Activism show & tell  & booksigning at the library in Madison CT last weekend (such a great knitting crowd they have there), I was invited to pop by the LYS around the corner. Since I have good manners, and, um, it's a yarn store? I said yes. I'd been there before, it was a sweet little shop.
 I didn't know it had changed hands a few months ago and now Madison Wool is MadWool,
owned by Dayna, aka The Crafty Scientist, an artyarn spinner, crafter and purveyor of the handmade, handspun, handdyed, and excellently curated commercial yarns too. The little cottage has a newly added room for classes , and is bursting with Things I Want to Touch and Make. I recommend a visit or three, they are open on Sundays. Do I hear field trip from you?
I broke one of my personal yarn rules: absolutely no single souvenir skeins. See this stunning Shalimar Breathless ? It's fingering weight wool, silk & cashmere.  I reversed some of my rule-breaking damage by winding and casting on immediately for Kat Coyle's new shawl Flying Home.
Yes, you can judge a shop by its sign. Yarnbombing!!!
  I feel so spoiled. I have Knit New Haven as my wonderful clubhouse LYS and now,  slightly further but still handy, a shop to revel in the handspun. Must get busy with them needles!

Monday, February 13, 2012

in the pink

I used to love the color pink. Powder pink, dusty pink, rose. I stopped wearing it when I was a newspaper photojournalist stringing for the NY Times & news mags. I  found I was patronized when I wore the girly colors. Sad, but true. I simply got out of the pink habit.
when oh when will I stop this silly addiction to gimmicky photo apps? when??? 
project: Bunny Blanket Buddy
pattern: a mash up of several but mostly this one from Lion Brand
yarn: less than one skein of MinnowMerino
needles: us7 for the "body" and ears, us4 for the head
notes: as usual, I didn't read through the pattern until I was working on that head. I wondered about the choice of stitch pattern....and then realized what the what? I am DOUBLE KNITTING! I do not know why I have avoided it all my life, I thought it sounded confusing and super tedious. It is neither. It is a fabulous way to create a head to be stuffed.
Also, love this yarn. Super lofty, superwash. 
(no shortage of sweet pink around here now)
I'm setting up a pretty brisk schedule of talks and teaching. Can't wait!
Listing of those so far confirmed are all at the Photo for Knitters page .
First up, not too far from home:
Sunday Feb 19th 2 pm a slide talk & booksigning about Craft Activism :  Celebrating Handmade at the Scranton Library in Madison CT. I'll have books for sale. Bring your knitting or crafting. You know about idle hands and the devil, right?

Friday March 2 , Photography Bootcamp for Bloggers & Etsians (and those who aspire to be) , a hands on digital photography workshop at the  fabulous Pretty Funny Vintage in Tarrytown NY. Turn us loose in restored victorian house full of vintage, handcrafted and collectible treasures, cameras in our paws? No prob! Register now, space limited. Going to be big fun.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

ariana cowl

Now that the best FO of the year is here, some of the non-human wips cluttering the joint are starting to  deliver as well. Like this cowl, designed & knit for niece Ariana who came up last weekend.
She is my favorite niece to hang out with. (Easy to say since she's my only niece.) Aside from her brainy & artistic accomplishments, she knits and likes to make things too. Win.
This is when it's double wrapped,and you are imitating models in Japanese pattern books. Here's my inspiration, something I saw that was not handknit. Now that I am returning to  it---they look nothing alike. I guess that's what "inspired by" not "knocked off" means, right? . It;s a long loops with two  textures but when wrapped together had a nice interplay of the different pattern stitches as if one was wearing two matching but yet not-matching scarves.
Looped over only once you can clearly see the two different stitches and yarns weights. I'd like to play around with another loopy cowly thing,  with one stitch pattern knit the long way, join it into a loop then pick up and knit the second stitch pattern part 90 degrees from the first. (Yes, I do know there are patterns like this, I just have one I haven't seen yet in my brain).
Mistake rib in Peruvia Quick on size 13 US needles.0179_GZuckerARIANA 
A reversing lace stitch on size 10.5 US needles in Peruvia.
This is an easy fun knit: only one skein of each yarn. Peruvia is a single spun yarn, and Peruvia Quick is the bulkier plied version of it . It's soft and lofty and the colors have a little bit of subtle contrasting halo; this nice green has lots of gold shot through it. Not as in "spots of color that'll pool" but as in" in the late afternoon sun it gets a nice glow going". 
PS It also looks most excellent worn for getting to know your new cousin Zoe.(Like how I snuck her in? Can.not.resist.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

a psa or three

 It's just about the 1st Saturday in February again. 
which as you know has 3 simple rules: 1) eat ice cream 2) for breakfast 3) before noon on the 1st Saturday in Feb. We'll have a spread simliar past years, like this or this. You? 

And, as long as I am being helpful, can I warn you against googling "cute booties"? I had something like these not those in mind, thankyouverymuch.
Needles: US 3 
Yarn: Cascade 220, a little Plymouth Worsted Merino in white and some deliscious white angora for the trim
Notes: A quickie knit if you aren't having a lot of distractions going on like...a super cute newborn baby in the house.  Which, I think, explains why the stripes are placed differently and the variance wasn't noticed till they were blocking. Whatev! You think a 10 day old will care? Or her sleepy parents will notice?
These are V.2. Thanks to bad row gauge, the first pair came out too long. I modified the pattern: the bottoms are only 20 rows long, and the cuffs only 28 stitches. I picked up 10 instead of 15 stitches along the sides when switching from flat to circular. (it'll make sensewhen you're in the pattern).
So we're set for 1 year old foot coverage, too.
oh, one more warning: definitely don't google "BigAss Granny " . Because I didn't get my own blog with my very large granny square in progress. Nuh uh, I got an eyeful.
(You're welcome.)