Tuesday, April 25, 2006

For the Love of Koigu

So, enough teasers about my Koigu haul. Here it is! I started with 2 of each of the solids, and 7 of the multi, for a total of 1225 yards. I was kind of off the Koigu after my moth disaster. To me, knitting with Koigu was inviting a moth feast, since it proved especially yummy to my resident squatters. But, a new shipment, attractive solids, a yummy multi - too much temptation for me to handle (especially after, as I mentioned a few glasses of wine at happy hour),and you have yourself an Elizabeth Zimmerman Pithy Pi Shawl. I went to Barbara Walker, Stitch Goddess, and thumbed through the pages, and honestly, my stitch choices were about as random as throwing darts at a dartboard. And, I'm not a very good dart player - sometimes, I don't hit the board. My dart throwing is almost as bad as my bowling. The last time I went bowling I threw the ball backwards, and snapped off one of my well-manicured fingernails. Silly game.

The next question became, how to throw in the solids. Grace explained the Fibonacci series - "you've heard of Fibonacci, right?" Is he a character on the Sopranos? Oh, wait, he's on Prison Break! The look on Grace's face told me that he's some kind of math guy. "It's a series of numbers that are pleasing to the eye." I looked at her, still dumbfounded. "You know, you start with 1 and add the numbers together . . ." Blank look. So, she wrote it down for me - 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 . . . If you do your repeats in any combination of these numbers, it will look pretty." It was like kindgergarten - One pink, 2 green, 3 multi. Yep, that's it - classic 3-2-1. Classic, uh huh, whatever.

So, with Mr. Fibonacci in mind, I began. I started with the pink, did a little mulit, went to the green, then I began 1 repeat of Snowflake, 2 repeats of Bleeding Hearts in the multi, and then I hit the 288 stitch repeat. I hit the wall, not the dartboard. I picked this thing called Mermaid Mesh. I even made a chart. But, something just wasn't right, and it wasn't my stitches. It just didn't work out, for no reason. Maybe it's just something you can't do in the round. So, out came the 24 rows of 288 stitches each, and I went back to the book, and picked out Fountain Lace. That inspired me to call the thing, Bloody Fountain - you know, Bleeding Hearts and Fountains. But, that's kind of disgusting, and it's really too pretty for a slasher name like that. Maybe if it were that obnoxiously bright red skein of Anne that I've seen floating around. Anyway, it doesn't have a name, but I am going to go back to the Bleeding Hearts for the 576 stitch repeat - because I love them. And Bleeding Hearts and Public Defenders seem to go together. Maybe I'll call it the Fourth Amendment Pithy Pi Shawl. Catchy eh?

That's where I am with my Koigu stash. In other knitting news, I am 3 repeats away from finishing Kimono Shawl, and I will indeed get it done in time for Mother's Day.

And the podcast -- Thanks everyone who has listened - and a big big thanks to those who commented in response to my Sally Field like moment. I don't know what I was thinking - how could Knitty D and I suck ass? And, I'm so not a Hubble, I'm such a Katie! I have received lots of helpful email/comments about the sound - don't worry, on the next episode, I will definitely turn down the sound on the music! This whole recording/computer thing has been kind of like a game. Everytime I get something right, I clap - loudly! And, you should have seen my face when our icon magically appeared in iTunes. Between learning how to use Audacity, Feedburner, Libsyn, my microphone, the iRiver, and coordinating my schedule with Knitty D's - it could have been a second job. But, we've definitely crossed the learning curve to the downslope, and the next episode should benefit from our newfound knowledge, and everyone's helpful comments. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as bad criticism -- well, unless you tell me you hate my pi shawl!

A PodStar is Born

So, our podcast is up and running - just click on the icon, and you can subscribe through iTunes, Podcast Alley or Podcast Pickle. We've been up and running for 24 hours now, and we have 26 subscribers, and not one person has commented. WE MUST SUCK ASS!!! And, if we do, please tell us, so that we can make it better next episode. A lot of pilot episodes end up in the crapper, and Knitty D and are very flexible people. Just like that scene, in The Way We Were, where Katie is all pissed off because Hubble is going to change his script to please his producers (Hubble - people are their principles) - but Hubble doesn't listen to Katie, changes the script, never goes to Paris, marries the blondie, and achieves fame and fortune in the t.v. industry. We, my friends in podcast land, will be your Hubble. We can make those changes, we can!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Going Going Gone!

So, the moment you've all been waiting for - drum roll puhleaze! One year, one baby, and 11 skeins of Koigu later - it's Robin's Super Fantastic Koigu Rambling Rows Baby Blanket:

Could it be any more perfect? It just doesn't seem right that some little bugger is now going to spit up, poop and pee on it - at least Koigu is machine washable!

If you haven't been impressed by my attempts to push this pattern on everyone, maybe you're convinced now. This is the most versatile pattern ever, and every blanket is an original. They say that the best actors and actresses are really stupid - empty vessels that are just waiting to be filled up with someone else's words, feelings, emotions, etc. With the right director, the right script, voila! - it's magic! This blanket is that great director, great script, great co-star all rolled into one - it will make any knitter look like a genius, anyone can be a superstar with this pattern.

And, in other knitting circle news, I may have missed Marian's kitty creature, but I got to Rosie's (in my drunken/buying state which lead to the purchase of massive amounts of koigu from which my bank account may never recover)just in time to meet the bunny I believe that Marian said this bunny was birthed from a Patternworks kit. So, if you ever wanted your own pet Bunny, but didn't want the atrocious mess that comes from the bunny cage, this pattern might be for you.

And, I know that you're all dying to know how much a I went for at the Friend's Select Auction. How much is my time really worth? Now, for my clients, I'm free, but if I were private counsel, I guess my billing rate would be, oh, I don't know, I think my co-counsel in the La Salle trial made upwards of $15,000.00 - you do the math. So, I must have gone for a pretty penny at the auction, right? Well, it's hard to say what my worth really is, because I was combined with the Tangled Webs' contribution, a stash of novelty yarn - so was the winning bidder bidding on me or the yarn or both?

Hopefully not both, because we went for a measly $60.00! My prostitute clients from K & A make more than that!!! Anyway, because the bidding was by anonymous number, I have no idea who won, or how to get in touch with them - so if it's you, and you got me at the bargain basement Kmart price - shoot me an email, and we'll set up your lesson!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Not Robin's Blanket

I know that this isn't the post that everyone is dying to see - ROBIN'S FINISHED KOIGU BABY BLANKET!!!! Mazel tov Robin! Yep, I took pictures of it. Yep, the pictures do it justice. So, where are they? After knitting circle (at which I bought a haul of Koigu - you know that old saying, "don't let friends drink and knit?" well, drinking and buying yarn don't mix either - I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SAVING FOR MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL, not dropping $131.00 on Koigu!!! The only consolation is that it's impossible to beer goggle with Koigu, so when I woke up in the morning, I hardly had coyote arm), I went home to load up the pictures, and my modem starting blinking like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and my browser seemed to stick it's tongue out at me. After an hour and a half on the phone with Verizon, the technician diagnosed the problem as a defective modem, and arranged to ship me a new one. Unfortunately, he shipped it to the wrong address, another problem that had to be fixed the next day, so to make a long story short (have you ever noticed that people always say that when they've already told a long story?), I won't have my new modem to some time next week. Drat. But, I don't want to deprive the world of seeing the finished blanket, so I'll try to remember to bring the camera with me to Knitty D's on Saturday WHEN WE RECORD THE PODCAST!!!! so I can load from her computer.

In the meantime, you'll have to settle for what I had already loaded up in anticipation of the long holiday weekend at my parents, and then never got a chance to post.

Following Flash Your Stash Day, I did some soul searching. Clearly, I have no stash. If I buy something, it must be knit quicker than immediately. I have miscellaneous yarn that I'm never going to use. So, instead of letting it lay loveless in the sweater bag in the closet, I put my yarn up for adoption. And, everyone will be pleased to know, that some of my yarn has found good, loving homes.

The first to be adopted was actually the last to get put in the mail. A few days after Flash Your Stash, I stumbled onto Cynthia at Two Wooden Sticks, who was starting up a collaborative afghan for her niece, Grace, who has cancer. Cynthia writes:

"My plan is to make the blanket bright and colourful in all shades of girly pink and maybe even some purples. I hope to knit some flowers and applique where appropriate. I am researching my edging.

Carole O Clowe, one my knitting buddies, summed it up best when she emailed me: "We are all Embracing Grace - we are all joining together to embrace her with warmth, love and strength." As knitters we know better than anyone else the power of what we create. Regardless of who we knit for I think we knit miracles. I am glad that Grace is on our list right now! Thank you."

The project has grown so big, that additional afghans will be donated to the Alberta Children's Hospital. So, while I haven't knit my square yet, I finally stuck my Leila cotton (since Grace is allergic to wool) in the mail, and it is on it's way to Canada.

Next to leave the orphanage of unloved stash was this bundle of joy, the Siddar Snuggly that I had been intended for a baby blanket:

So, instead of being a baby blanket, it will now become a puppy blanket, a kitty blanket, or, heck, a bunny blanket, I don't know. Knister Chelle writes:
"Lately I've been working on soothing, simple projects. Pet blankets, mostly. I've crocheted several critter blankets since the Olympics ended. Me crochet? Yup, I'm loving it for the pet blankets. The density and drape (or lack thereof) of crochet makes for good, sturdy blankies. And it's a great way for me to use my crap yarn. Sorry, the yarn I've outgrown."

Well, Michelle, I can see that you are the perfect person to give my crap yarn a good home:
And, ultimately, a better home - here is the link to Michelle's Home for Critter Knitting

And, last but not least, everyone's favorite cause, Grace's knitting. Hardly a charity, but to contribute something to what you know is going to be completely beautiful, is enough to warm the cockles of anyone's heart. When I mentioned to Grace that I had a some Rowan Botany 4 Ply that I had gotten on ebay for a steal, but had never committed to a project, she started to bounce with glee. YOU HAVE ROWAN BOTANY 4 PLY!!!! Now, to see a 6'2" woman bounce generates even more excitement, so I had to gift my Rowan to Grace. Thanks for all of your help Grace, and enjoy the botany!

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Heather on the Hill

While, I may look like a crazy scarecrow, a perfect perching post for those noisey robbins that infest the suburbs where I spent the last several days (and yes, there are indeed plastic blow-up bunnies decorating my neighbors' front lawn), Highland is indeed beautiful, if I do say so myself. And, I learned a very valuable skill in making it - the spit splice.
Now in my f-d up world, I have no problem talking about the right way to give a blow job in front of 12 angry men, but I do not, under any circumstances, talk about any kind of bodily functions - what happens behind a closed bathroom door stays behind the closed bathroom door. No talk of regularity, nothing - any fluid that comes out of the body - too much information, not dinner table conversation, busride conversation, coffee machine chit chat. And therefore, when Grace started talking about spitting - which qualifies as one of those bodily functions that should not be discussed, I shuddered.
Did she say the "s" word? Yes, unply both ends of the yarn - the old strand, and the new ball you are attaching, spit (I can barely type it!!) on the palm of your hand, and rub the two ends together, causing felting. This caused inner conflict with me. The first time I had to do a spit splice, I actually put down the knitting for the night, and took an evening to think about it before I did it. Nice young ladies don't spit - in any context! But, I got over my fear of spitting on the palm of my own hand, and rubbing my beautiful alpaca silk yarn between my grubby palms. And voila! The yarn is joined, there are no ends to weave in. So, while I still find it distasteful, it must be done.

And, in other news, if you want to buy me for an hour, you can! I, or I should say, an hour knitting lesson with moi, is up for auction at the Friends Select Silent Auction, which benefits the Friends Select School at 17th and the Parkway. Yes, I will be sold to the highest bidder! Just click on me - and you can get all of the details. The auction is this Saturday, from 6:30 to 9:30. Bid early, bid generously, I'm sure the competition will be fierce!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Baby Got Lace

I may have missed the Dance-A-Long, see Knitting While Sleeping, but I'm a Jewish white girl with no rhythm, not even in my little toe, so, that was probably a good thing for all, but I was there in time for the Shawl-A-Long.

When our Top Down class ended, we just couldn't be parted from each other, so we commandeered another Saturday a month of Grace's time, devoted to knitting shawls from Folk Shawls.

Folk Shawls is a well-loved book in my house -- you can even see the grubby thumbprints on some of the pages, but until recently, it wasn't such a well-knit book. But, my friends, my fear of the lace chart is finally over, and my Highland Triangle is now complete, photos of blocking to come. But, I get ahead of myself.

I picked the Highland Triangle because of the name - I like the shawl, I think it's beautiful, but I'm not sure if I really see myself wearing a gigantic triangle. The look, and the feel of it, because it's actually very textured, are pretty old fashioned, but I got sucked into the romance of the name - Highland Triangle. I pictured myself as Catherine Earnshaw running across the moors, over the bogs covered in peat moss, not that I even know what peat moss looks like, to Heathcliff, standing on the craggy rocks by the sea. I guess I should have been more inspired by say, Brigadoon - I lighted hearted Gene Kelly/Cyd Charisse-esq Highland - I could wake up once a year, twirl around the heather on the hill, sing a rousing chorus of Brigadoon, and go back to sleep wrapped in my Highland Triangle. Much more cheerful than a scary, dark, gloomy, rainy bog, running through swamplike peat moss, to a scary man. See, even in my knitting fantasies I take the dark scary Heathcliff over that Take Me Out to the Ballgame kind of guy. Sigh, I'll never learn.

Unfortunately, you'll have to wait for pics of the Highland Triangle - blocking scheduled for tonight. So, let's take a look at what everyone else is knitting:

First, we have both Michelle and Cecelia's Irish Diamonds. See, with a name like Irish Diamonds, I don't get that moors, peatmoss kind of feeling. I get more of a "When Irish Eyes are Smiling," lucky kind of feeling, and where do you where the Irish Eyes garment? The track maybe . . . or maybe you just wear it in Philly, and make sure you buy a Power Ball ticket while you're wearing your lucky shawl. In any event, both Michelle and Cecelia are doing theirs in Zephyr.

Michelle, silly silly girl, is blinding herself with black, doubled:

And, Cecelia opted for a lighter, pale green, sensible color, not doubled:

And a closeup of Merrill's lovely Kimono.

And what's this yarn doing here you ask? Ah, the danger of the knitting store, I know you all know it well. You're sitting there knitting one thing, something catches your eye, and then snap - it's off to the races wearing your Irish Diamond.

I asked Grace to show off her organic cotton Rambling Rows,
and the next thing you knew, Knitty D was hitting the Malabrigo, jonesin' for a rambling rows. The above are her potential colorways, and everyone should congratulate Knitty, our favorite yarn slut, for exercising restraint, and putting it all back on the shelves. Now, I'm missing class today, so who knows what damage she's done.

Keep knitting that Clapotis, save yourself for Maryland Sheep and Wool!

Harlot in the House

So, it wasn't quite Madonna, but it was close, Harlot in the House - whoa! Knitty D and I contemplated sleeping out for good seats, just like those good old days when we slept out for Springsteen tickets - oh, wait, I still sleep out for Springsteen tickets . . . but, to find out if we did, you'll have to wait for our first podcast, more on that later.

The staff at Loop had been fielding calls all week from Harlot groupies - is there parking?? Calls all the way from Alaska! Parking? Philadelphia? Silly! But, everyone managed, because it was standing room only.

While we waited for the Harlot to arrive, I got a chance to meet a Team Philly mate, Purlewe. She didn't quite recognize me from my face, but she did recognize my Sunrise Circle Jacket!! It was funny, later in the evening when Harlot signed my book, and Knitty D snapped my picture, she asked if I was blogging. I said, yes. Who are? Knit and the City. She looked at me quizzically - strange, she said, people aren't just Wendy, they're Batman. Hmmmm . . . and I thought you said during your little chat that we were a step above those Trekkies . . .

And Harlot did arrive, and Craig gushed profusely, also, proud as punch that his baby, Loop, (as opposed to his nephew who was just born last week - Mazel Tov Rosenfeld family!) is one year old. I didn't catch the date, the 22nd maybe - you'll have to call, but Loop is having a birthday party, and the staff is making cupcakes, because it's always good to handle yarn with gooey chocolate fingers.

Anyway, I expected Harlot to do a reading, take a bow and sign some books. But, she didn't actually read, she had pretty much prepared a full-on standup routine. And you know, something snapped in me, I dug my heals in, I didn't want to like her. I got "too cool for school," as my friend Pete would say. When she said we were just one step above Trekkies in geekdom, I cringed, I just could not embrace my inner nerd, or outer nerd as the case truly is. But, the truth is, she really is funny, and charming, and its hard not to give in to her jokes -- telling her husband's fancy model friends that she's a knitter, her imitation of a Knitting Olympic commentator - "She's halfway across that row, nearly to the cable. She's going to try that Left Triple Cross, a move that she's had trouble with in the past. Oh, no, she's dropped a stitch, that's going to cost her! Hope she has a crochet hook in her knitting bag!)" By the way, January One - she loved your Team Philly button.

So, Knitty D and I attempted to begin our career as podcasters. We recorded an interview with Craig, which sounds great, but in the end, I think is unusable. I kind of put poor Craig on the spot, he confessed a deep dark secret that I can't share with even blogland, and I'm not sure if the interview is salvagable. Craig, don't worry! We will protect you, we will rerecord. We recorded a completely charming interview with Grace, about how she gave up casting on for Lent, but the sound on that piece isn't so hot, and I don't think we can salvage it. But, that's the beauty of digital - delete, record, all better!

So, after the stand up routine, she asked if anyone had any questions. No questions, but a lot of gushing, a total gushfest. Well, I had questions, but I couldn't further solidify my geekdom by being the dork in the front row raising her hand. Question - I took your what kind of knitter test are you? She presents four different possible scenarios knitters could be confronted with - and then there are a series of possible lettered responses. Much like a Cosmo - how well do you know your boyfriend quiz, or How high is Your Sex IQ, if you choose mostly A you're this category, if you choose mostly B, you're that category. OK, I chose a different letter for each question - and I have no category - what's up with that???? Now, I must be a geek and a poser. I think the quiz is rigged. For instance, like the SAT, it favors people in different geographic locations. The first question deals with what happens when a waitress compliments your knitting, and says, I always wanted to do that. I chose, ask for lemon in my water, or something like that. A real knitter, wouldn't do that, but a real PHILADELPHIAN would. We don't talk to anyone! This is just inbred in us. Don't talk to us in line at the grocery store, don't talk to us in the park, don't talk to us parked at a stop sign. That's just the way it is. So, I think if I took a less biased quiz, I would be in a real knitting category.

Question - the burn test - where would you suggest performing this test? Take a match to my stash? Craziness. I've met a lot of fire bugs in my day, and a. they're all crazy, and b. they usually burn more than they intend to - oh look, that match I threw into the trashcan is going all the way up the side of that building, huh? I think the burn test really might not be one to try at home.

So, the evening ended for me with getting my book signed. As she was signing my book, "Obsession is normal" (Normal in my business to - but bad, oh so bad!!), in response to her stories about trying to tell her husband's friends that she's a knitter by profession, and she writes books about knitting (she confessed she's thought about trying to lie and say she writes about whales), I told her that she should try telling them that she represented sex offenders and thieves for a living, and see how well that one goes over - uh huh. She then quickly changed the topic, and complimented my Sunrise Circle Jacket - is that the circle thing in Interweave? Yes. And then she frowned, you knit that really fast. Yep, I'm fast. Huh . . . on to the next book.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Celebrity Guest Blogger Live from Mason Dixon

Mason Dixon Knitting at Loop

It was standing room only on Friday night at Loop as the authors of Mason Dixon Knitting, Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, came to town to share their story, show some of the book’s projects and sign a whole lot of books. Once again, Craig hosted a great book party at the shop. The authors were smart, funny, friendly women who love everything about knitting . . . just like the friends I’ve made through knitting . . . so, needless to say, I had a great time!

As Wendy’s guest blogger, I felt a HUGE responsibility to get some good photos, but I also had my own guest present, my Mother, so I also wanted to make sure she was having a nice time and, then at some point, I started having such fun that I forgot about all those commitments and never got a photo of Christina (sorry, C.).

Here are the authors showing us some wonderful knitted items from the book . . .

And here they are signing away and making lots of new friends . . .

You just know the staff is thinking about their own new projects . . .

And since Kay and Ann talked about knitting for spring and all the upcoming associated holidays, here are some photos of some special mothers . . .

Craig and his mother, Joan

My mother, Irene, with Cathy and me . . .

One last shot of the ongoing party and the shopping . . ..

. . . which continued as we departed. I made the tragic mistake of beginning to read Mason Dixon knitting late last night and stayed up way too late, enjoying the book and studying patterns. If I don’t want a dragon on my jean jacket, what would I knit? I think it has to be pink . . .
Since I can’t make it on Monday night (deep sigh), I’m looking forward to the report on Yarn Harlot’s visit.
This is your guest blogger, Beverly, signing off . . . Back to you, Wendy!


Friday, April 07, 2006

Knitting Circle

So, instead of talking about my knitting today (but, just as a tease - there is major talking to come - hint: there's a whole lotta rippin' going on!), I'm going to talk about everyone else's knitting - while Podcasting may bring the global knitting community together, as Dorothy Gale most eloquently put it, "Toto, there's no place like home." And, of course, we're not in Kansas, we're at Rosie's Yarn Cellar in Philadelphia.

First, remember our free-for-all extravaganza at Stitches East? And this hug-full of Koigu, because Koigu is our most embraceable yarn (and, for you Koiguholics out there - a new shipment has arrived at Rosie's)? Well, that bundle of joys is now this Rambling Rows blanket. That's a blanket? you ponder - looks like a shopping bag to me. That's because Robin is currently on her super long circulars, knitting the border in a celery colored skein of Koigu. How many stitches, you ask? Way too many to mention - makes my Bozo mohair ruffle look trifling. I think she's on the last round before bindoff, and hopefully, I'll be able to get a picture of it before it is gifted to her friend, who had the baby back in, er, December. As you may remember, I've already knit this Rambling Rose in Noro Silk Garden, and the possibilities are endless. Judy, at Rosie's, is currently knitting one in a worsted weight, I can't remember what yarn, but in very fall colors - and Grace, at Loop, is doing one in Blue Sky Organic Cotton, in all neutral tones. For the unisex baby project - it just might be the way to go.

Next, we have Cathy and her Clapotis.I've seen a lot of Clap's out there, and I have to tell you, this is one of the most beautiful ones I've seen - and of course, it's cashmere, Alchemy Monarch, in a lilting colorway called Forest Waltz. Laura, over at Loop, also did hers in cashmere, Estelle, -- have I ever mentioned to you that I often have to dress my client's for trial? Frequently, they wear my brother's dress shirts and ties. Once, though, I had this old head client ask me to call his family to bring his burying suit to court. Huh? You know, the suit I'm going to be buried in . . . this was a totally new concept to me, but the guy was aquitted, so I guess the burying suit is also the lucky suit. Anyway, that ashes to ashes dust to dust thing, nah, I want to burried in cashmere - that will be my burying suit. And, maybe it will be Clapotis, because yarn for the project is definitely on my list for Maryland Sheep and Wool.

Speaking of Maryland Sheep and Wool, I'm on a strict diet - not to lose weight, but to save money. From now until the Festival, I am brownbagging both my breakfast and lunch. A no-brainer to most of you, probably, it's actually harder than you might think in my biz, because I never know when lunch is going to be, usually I'm grabbing something on the fly, and, of course, the Reading Terminal is right next to the courthouse. I should save between $50-80 a week. We'll see -- the other day I brought my lunch, and then bought a magazine to read with it - I think that defeated the purpose.

I wish I had taken a better picture of Beverly's project, instead of just getting a lovely shot of Beverly, because Beverly is knitting in a yarn that I thought had no possibities whatsoever, and that's a huge statement from me considering it's Noro. It's Noro's Sakura, a cotton Rayon blend. I just don't find it all that attractive in the skein, but knit up, not that I have a closeup, really looks great: Beverly is knitting a summer cardigan from Magknits, and I believe this is the back she's holding in her hands. And, speaking of Beverly, she will be providing us with a guest blog post from the Mason Dixon Girls book signing tonight, because unfortunately, I have plans to drink lots of margarita's at El Vez, and, um, possibility get intoxicated with my girls from work. One of my friends, Ellen, is paying a visit to Norristown State Hospital today (a mental health facility) to visit our civily committed clients, and I think, just maybe, she might need a stiff one when she returns.
And Marian. Don't let that look on her face deceive you. This vest she is making for her husband, in Rowan something or other, is really beautiful, I think she's just gosh darn tired of knitting it. Marian found an interesting way this winter of avoiding any knitting blahs. She knit the kitty cat from Knitty, and some other creature thing - I wish I had had my camera, but maybe some other day.
And, Merrill, this princess, is actually not knitting in cashmere. Lately, Merrill is obsessed with linen and bamboo. This is her Kimono shawl, in Alchemy Bamboo, in a colorway called unappetizingly enough, Sour Grass. And, hiding behind Kimono, a martini. Yes, after knitting circle, there's the City part - dinner at the Bar at Dmitri's. Grilled octopus, sauteed mussels, and grilled veggies - perfect after long night of knitting, that continues at the bar. Oh, and did I mention the maritinis.

And last but not least, Lisa, the proprietress of Rosie's. Lisa is crocheting a bag from Noro's Daria, a cordlike yarn, for her upcoming beginner's crochet class. I wrote down the start date of the class, but I left it on my desk at home. It definitely starts this month, and I think, but I'm not sure it's on Monday nights. So, if you have a yen for crochet, and you think this little bag is as cute as a button, go on over to the sidebar and check out their website.

And, that's all for now! Can't wait to see Bev's post about the Mason Dixon girls . . . Beverly, don't forget your camera!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pod Knitting

I never really understood talk radio. I listen to the news in the morning, check KYW at least once a day, watch the 6:00 news after work, and generally fall asleep during the evening news at 11:00. I'm a lawyer. I listen to people who love to talk all damn day. Why would I want to hear more talking? When I was invited to be on NPR, I didn't even know who Marty Moss-Kohane was, I didn't know she broadcast live, and I had no idea that I had to be early. I got there five minutes before we went on air, they rushed me into a chair, a boom mic hung in front of my face, and I got to wear those nifty headphones. After we recorded the show, they gave me the information to get a copy of the tape. I passed it along to my parents, but me? I've never listened to a copy of the show ever. Why would I want to hear myself talk? Especially, hear myself talk about a proposed voter referendum to amend the constitution to allow children to testify via closed circuit t.v. in sexual assault cases? Uch. Radio was for music, and baseball, and that's it.

But now, I'm obsessed. One podcast lead to another. My Ipod is now jam packed with podcasts - knitting podcasts. I love to listen to people talk about their knitting- even if they're not even very good knitters. Recently, at a knitting circle, Beverly asked me to recommend a podcast to her, and I told her that I intended to do a blog reviewing each podcast, blog post coming soon. Since then, I've been investigating maybe recording my own podcast (well, not my own, there might be a Knitty D and the City podcast in the works), and spent last night reading Podcasting for Dummies. Well, I must be one big dummy, because it looks awfully hard to me. And, who has the time for this? I thought to myself, between the writing, recording, editing, show notes, and uploading. Is this something I want to commit myself to?

I'm still mulling that over, but in my mulling, I've scraped the idea of reviewing any podcasts. Anyone who puts themselves out there in this format shouldn't be reviewed - no one is a professional podcaster, no one is being professionally recorded - and everyone is so gosh darn nice and generous with their time. Interviewers laud interviewees, interviewees thank interviewers for thoughtful questions, everyone promotes everyone elses podcast, and everyone just loves knitting so much - it would just be wrong to be critical. And, it just brings the knitting community a little closer together. I was listening to Two Pointy Sticks the other day, by a woman from Texas. Next thing I knew, in her Texas twang, she was talking about how she had been in Philly, and bought the Half Pi Shawl pattern from Rosie's, and how that was what she was working on that week. Texas meets Philly, and it's all on my Ipod.

So, instead, I will say, that if you do only have time for one podcast, you must download this one, my favorite podcast, Cast-On, with Brenda Dayne. The other podcasts that I listen to, are on my sidebar. Each one is a little different, I have my favorites of those too, but try them out, see what appeals to you. But, Cast-On, I think, is for every knitter. There's something just so soothing and relaxing listening to Brenda talk about her knitting. Her show is thoughtful, and her knitting is thoughtful. It's organized, well-written, and well-recorded. I could go on, but you should probably just listen yourself - I assure you, it's much more entertaining that I was on NPR.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sunrise Sunset

Remember that scene in everyone's favorite, the ultimate, original boytoy movie, The Outsiders, where Cherry Valance runs into Pony Boy, and there's a beautiful Francis Ford Coppola sunset framing her red hair, and a Stevie Wonder theme song swelling in the background? And she reminds Ponyboy of that poem - Nature's First Green is Gold, her hardest hue to hold, and yadda yadda yadda - and then she asks him, "Can you see the sunset from your side of town?" And Ponyboy nods, "well, you can see it from my side too," and she bounces back into her snobby soc world, leaving him with Soda Pop and the boys at the gas station? Well, here is the Sunrise on my side of town. Not quite the Kate Gilbert creation, but I love it, and I'm so pleased with the finished project. As you can see, I went with the funky shaped buttons. I liked the ellipse/cat's eye buttons that got the most reader response, but, because I went with a very different yarn, something very me, and I wanted to keep that feel to my jacket.

As I mentioned before, I totally screwed up the hem - my hem is half the size it's supposed to be because I didn't follow the directions (I think I've mentioned I don't drive - good idea, eh?), and between the Silk Garden, and the smaller hem, I think my jacket is much drapier than it would have been had I hemmed it properly. Also, I wear a size 36 bra, so I went with the jacket sized for 37" - I've been pretty successful by going with a medium with most patterns. If I had hemmed properly, and lost another inch on each side, I think it would have come out too small. So, for anyone thinking about making this jacket, as painful as it might be, I would err on the side of too big, as opposed to too small - because as we all know by now, I am gauge challenged, but I heavily blocked this to the schematic in the pattern, and it's the right size for the 37.

So, I can check this off my knitting queue. Just in time to get a few wearings in before the weather completely changes. I think making April 1st Show Your Stash day was enlightened - because it certainly had something to do with fools, fiber and frivolity. After bouncing from blog to blog looking at everyone's stash, I realized - I do not have a stash. That catalogue below - not stash. And, again, it goes back to that drug business analogy that I cannot get away from. As I've mentioned before, dealers deal from a "stash," and if the stash is a certain weight, they get mandatory jail sentences. In order to get them out of the mandatory jail sentence, we do what's a hearing, where we call an expert (yes, there are actually experts in drug dealing, just as there are expert's in car accident cases, malpractice cases, etc.) to divide the stash into personal use and actual sale. If the personal use portion is subtracted from the total, and brings it under the mandatory weight - no mandatory sentence. That folks, is my stash - complete personal use. The stashes I saw on line, could never ever in a million years be consumed in a lifetime. Beautiful, stunning, worth bathing in (see Knit and Tonic), enviable, addictive - but for me, well, I'll never be looking at state time based on my pititful closet of unused fiber.