Sunday, July 29, 2012

YO-ho ho and a bottle of eucalan

Before we get into the real story here, a quick look at my shawl.  I am in the final decrease section of this sizable mohair wrap--and I think, final color. I went rogue on the striping sequence .
Anyway, here's what I really want to tell you about:As you know if you've had a glance here in the past 7 years, I live by the beach, and I live for the beach.
 If I am in, by or on the water, all is good. Add my other must-have lifestyle-enhancing activity, knitting, and this is a no-brainer:

 1st annual Thimble Islands Charter Knitting Cruise
Tuesday evening August 14th,   7 - 9:15pm
Stony Creek (Branford) CT 
If you wish to join us from near or far, we still have some seats, see below*

I swear this is the conversation, verbatim, regarding this event.
( my phone ringing)
Capt Bob:  Hey, Gale? This is Capt Bob, got yer message. We're all set for the Thimble Islands charter on August 14th. Be at the dock with your people at 7 pm.
Me: Oh good, we're pretty psyched. I just realized it's getting dark earlier now,  do you have lights under the boat awning?
Capt Bob: Yeah, no problem, we 've got lights up.
Me: Oh I'm so glad. Otherwise it'd be hard to see our knitting,  I don't want anyone getting aggravated if they can't see their stitches after sunset.
Capt Bob: (silence for a little longer than normal in a conversation) Knitting? Did you say......knitting? You're all going to be on the boat....KNITTING??!!
Me: I thought I told you, this is a knitting cruise. We'll all be knitting, That's what we do on Tuesday nights.
Capt Bob: (little guffaw, and  sarcastic tone follows) so.. . you'll drink beer and knit?
Me: Of course. Or wine. But we were also talking mojitos and maybe margaritas...and snacks...
Capt. Bob: (silence, that I think we can interpret ??)
Me: what? did you think knitters are a bunch of old ladies?
Capt Bob: Um,,well.ummm yah..heh heh.   THIS is a first on the Volsunga. (mutttering) A knitters cruise! Definitely a first. See you on the dock on 14th....
Thimble Islands sunset, view from the dock 
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Come school Captain Bob in the ways of knitters.  We have about ten seats left. Lots of friendly knitters from the area will be on board.
Tuesday August 14th , meet at the Stony Creek docks at 7 pm, boat departs at 7:15 sharp, tootles around the Thimble Islands just  off the coast,   and returns at 9:15. We'll be sailing on the Volsunga.
Tickets are $ 25. in advance, by paypal to me ( or message me ( and I'll tell you where to send a check. We'll sell tickets until we are full--or the boat leaves the dock, whichever comes first.
BYOB, BYOK(nitting) and some snacks to share, there's a large table in the center of the boat. Capt Bob provides the ice, the sound system and a guided tour.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

three cheers for the red, white and blue (large)

Browsing around on the internets, as one does when one is sitting in one's office avoiding large deadlined projects, I ran into the huge knit US flag art piece by Dave Cole,  quite a few times. Then, I read Lori's post on it, on her VersaciKnits blog.  She mentioned that her dad, an art collector, has the artist's model of the piece.people 
Which prompted my memory of photographing Dave Cole while the piece was installed, up at MassMOCA in 2005.  Back when my blog had 15 readers, on a good day. These are a couple of the images.  If you want to see more of the piece itself and about Dave's work (at least 7 years ago) , take a look at my July 9, 2005 post.people Including the model, that's now at Lori's dad's house. (I just love knowing where things end up, don't you?) 
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The funniest thing is, I can't recall what magazine I shot him for.  He continues to incorporate knitting and handsewing and materials that are waaaay outside the box to make his art. Take a look.

Monday, July 16, 2012

weekend index

Disclaimer: the Hipstamatically presented images below are from 2 weekends ago--not  from the weekend under scrutiny in the text. Me running around working non-stop for two days looks nothing like this.  Have you not heard of artistic license? 
This summer I'm shooting for an institute in Vermont. It's not  crafts or knitting related, in case you were about to ask.  I'm back from the first of four trips up there there in the Green Mountains, getting it underway. It is a fabulous client to work with.  Wanna know how it went?
# of knitting projects I brought along: 1 (I am serious about finishing this shawl)
# of degrees hot , in F,  or more, almost the whole time: 90  (hello? Vermont? wtf? )
# of % humidity: 99.9999
# of times I thought maybe fine mohair wasn't that attractive to handle : 0 (Can you tell I really really want to finish the shawl)
# of people attending this institute: 1100
# of languages being spoken: 8
# of conversations or interactions I am allowed to have in English: 0
(by the end of the summer I will be able to say "No worries! I am the photographer! Please make believe I am not here and continue what you were doing!" in all eight languages.)
# of these languages I can sort of communicate in: 2
# of times I stood looking at people dumbly, waving my hands saying um, uh, ummmm , AGGHHHHH : how high can you count?
# of stitches I knit: zero
# of pages I read before falling asleep, exhausted from trying to think in many languages while also concentrating on the photo shoot: : 1.5 (Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Highly recommend! *)
# of days before I head back up there: 4

* Curiously this is the second book I've read in a row in which a flooded southern city is the major force in the action. This one is non-fiction, and in New Orleans but in some ways feels less real than Ann Shayne's engaging novel Bowling Avenue. Go figure!  But read them both.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

and on and on and on

Several times this spring I was fretting about my clothes. It boiled down to " If only I had a light frothy springy kinda wrap, I'd be all put together". I know this reveals I think putting a handknit wrap on yourself is "pulling your outfit together.  Just go with me here. 
Then I remembered starting this shawl way back, on an impulse.
You can see me showing off its early stages on Ellen Bloom's blog, in Los Angeles in 2010. Uh, huh, two years ago, put it aside shortly after the trip. At the time I thought it was a boring knit, plus I had mucho test knitting for Craft Activism, with deadlines.

 I worked on it briefly a year ago,  I hardly remember doing so.  Horrifyingly, I started that post almost the same way as this one. (I lack brain cells as well as gossamer shawls, apparently.)
It is not too boring for me this summer, although I find the loopy fine Be Sweet mohair not quite mindless. Is high maintenance mindless a project category?  If I knit quickly without looking, I stick my points through the little loopies that are halo fibers rather than the stitches.  Also, not great beach knitting, although the colors work for the setting.
Whatever. This summer, I am sticking with it till it's done. Come next spring 2013, watch out: I will be utterly put together.
It matched the yard pretty well last week, didn't it?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ways to use up yarn

This is one pretty charming way. Especially if you are on the receiving end.  I like how she braided strands together instead of just wrapping it round and round.
From my friend Julie. She said she thought of consulting  Shear Spirit and making a Navajo Braid with the yarn. navajobraidHer saying that, and actually referencing the book? A gift, too.
Navajo braid from churro sheep roving  on Jay Begay's ranch, on the rez in Arizona 
Here's a link from our photo shoot there.
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ps inside was the novel Swamplandia by Karen Russell. 

Monday, July 09, 2012

I do frou-frou, do you do frou-frou too?

About time I blabbed about some actual knits, doncha think? I intended to start blogging daily this month It feels like time is an out of control ball of yarn, unwinding so fast you can barely grab it as it unspools.
Months ago, on a wet winter day, I ducked into my LYS with Zoe and her mama along. I offered to knit something of their choosing, and pointed Giuliana at patterns using worsted weight yarn. Lazy? Perhaps. I like knitting worsted yarns, what can I say?  We both fell in love with the book 60 Quick Baby Knits,* designed to use Cascade 220 in all kinds of sweet & speedy ways.
See what I mean by sweet? Knit applique & ruffles. I am such a freakin' granny. 
We chose a tunic & pants ensemble, and Spud & Chloe Sweater for the yarn, because it felt so awesome to touch, and is machine washable, too. (50/50 cotton wool). It's a little heavier than the Cascade 220. I followed the basic instructions for proportion & structure but changed the numbers, so it didn't come out huge and way too bulky. It took up almost every inch of the yellow skein (Firefly), plus 1.5 skeins of the pink (Watermelon).
This right here is just about my  frou-frou-enough level. I crocheted the neck and armhole edges all around instead of picking up & knitting garter rows, and left off the pants hem ruffles. I would love to show it to you modeled, but my model is still a bit too small. I adore the tunic and suspect she'll wear it like crazy, with a shirt under it. The pants are a little bulky--sort of like baby sweats- but we'll see. It's got a short row tush. I loved that part of the design, to make room for diapers.And the picot waist,with elastic inside. I think she'll rock the style. Don't you?
So, about that daily blogging. I may still give it a try.
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* there are at least 4 other knits I may make from that book soon--but now that Wear With All is out , I am dying to knit the baby tunic dress. It is too adorable!