30 June 2007

June 30

So, today is the official last day of Secret Pal 10. Thus I can reveal that I have been "spoiling" Amy. I've already revealed myself to her. Hi Amy! It's been fun getting to know you.

I also got word today that my downstream No Sheep exchange partner has received the skein I sent (mmm...bamboo...). It's so hard not to say to her "Hey! I know the author! That's right. I stitch n bitch with a celebrity!"
That would be petty. Tee hee. I will send her one of those cute No Sheep pin backs though.

You Are Not Stupid

You got 10/10 questions right!
While acing this quiz doesn't prove you're a genius, you're at least pretty darn smart.

24 June 2007

A Scarf In A Garden and Gertrude

I mentioned earlier that while in NYC, we had plans to have dinner with an old friend and his family. It was lovely to see him again and finally meet the wife and kids. For though we have kept in touch by post and email, we haven't actually been face to face for about sixteen years. He works for the UN and spends years at a time in other countries. I rarely travel. In fact, this visit was planned largely as a way for us to finally get together.

The visit was lovely. His kids are cute (one boy, one girl - symmetrical, yes?) and his wife didn't hate me. He and I talked and talked with nary an awkward moment. Except one. When asked by the wife what we had seen and done in the city, the reply was "The Museum and Central Park and several Yarn Stores. And what beautiful yarn stores you have in your city" ...Then the confused stares. And the questions about 'why' and 'what' that inevitably arise with non-knitters. One attempts to explain about the re-emergence of craft and the community and the meditative qualities of colour and design but, one never quite gets it right.

So, I'm knitting for the family. I've started with this scarf in the Karaoke I bought at Knitty City. Can you see the gorgeous slight variegation in the colour? Isn't it fabulous? I'll knit three more items TBD later and send them off. Hopefully, the work will be self-explanatory.

I leave you with a pic of me hanging with Gertrude Stein in Bryant Park. Gertrude would have got it, don't you think? She loved a good Salon. Can you imagine her at an SnB?

21 June 2007

Review: Knitting Lingerie Style

After having spent a fair bit of time reading through Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael (aka; my birthday gift), I can say, Yes, I like it.

First the negative. This is just my personal opinion but, some of the early designs, particularly in The Bra and The Slip chapters, are far too complex for this to call itself a knitting book. We're talking serious, seamstress level, garment construction here. The fact that the fabric is knitted is secondary with these patterns, especially the cover item. When the Notions list contains "sewing machine"? Last I checked, a machine was not a notion. And where exactly, does one get underwire channeling? So this was disappointing and worrisome.Then one gets to the later chapters and it all gets better. The Corset and The Camisole chapters are full of original, wearable designs. This stuff is a lace knitter's dream. There are several pieces I can't wait to sink my needles into. All the stockings and socks are stunning and there's a bed jacket (read: lacy cardy) that is feminine and tailored looking at the same time.While a couple of the models have a bit of cleavage, would it have killed them to get one woman with some belly and bum? Where's Betty Page when you need her? Some of the designs would have looked better on a rounder woman. This is lingerie after all.

As for the book itself. I like the size and shape of it. I think about stuff like this. It feels substantial but not weighty. The paper is lovely and the photos are richly pretty. The layout makes sense as well. At 30 some-odd dollars, I'd say it's a pretty good deal.

18 June 2007

New York: The Yarn Post

Top: SWTC Karaoke 50% Soy Silk/50% Wool

Middle: Araucania Yarns Magallanes 100% Wool Hand dyed

Bottom: Yarn Place Graceful Lace Yarn 100% Wool

17 June 2007

New York: The Yarn Store Post

We of course, did not spend all our time in yarn stores. In fact, after Day 2 of the trip, I was cut off by The Daughter who mumbled strange words sounding like "enough yarn"?

I didn't buy huge amounts. My criteria for purchase was two-pronged. It had to be a brand I don't remember seeing in Toronto and it had to be different from my usual types of choices. Also, total yarn purchased had to fit into my duffle bag for the flight home. The post of the actual loot will come later.
We ended up seeing three stores, which are all uptown. I didn't get down to School Products, as I had hoped to. Sigh. Next time.

The Yarn Co., which was just around the corner from our hotel, was the first stop. It's small but absolutely crammed with inventory. The samples were gorgeous and they were having a sale. Great fondling, but in the end, I bought only one skein.

The next morning, we found String. Tres Upper East Side. The store is beautifully, if somewhat austerely, laid out. The yarn was all showy - definitely a wealthy woman's hobby store. I bought nothing but was pleased to see the famous cape that was in Vogue Knitting.

My absolute favourite was Knitty City on West 79th. I felt at home immediately upon walking in. Two girls sat in the window seat and three beautiful older gentlemen occupied the central table. There is a resident poodle named Lenny, with whom The Daughter spent the entire visit. The staff (that blurred woman in the middle and the young man behind the counter) were so friendly. The selection of yarn and accessories was varied and unique. I bought yarn, bags and gifts. If I lived in NYC, this is where I would hang.

11 June 2007

Do You Ever...

Do you ever feel that something is just right there but you can't quite get it? You don't even know what it might be if you could?
Something keeps moving out of frame. Someone is standing at my right shoulder but I can't turn my head fast enough to see him. There's a perfect composition or conversation just waiting to be experienced. I could perhaps find real beauty and capture it, or create something beautiful or be that thing of beauty myself. It's just outside the edge of my reach.
Tomorrow, the Daughter and I are off to New York City for 4 days. There will be yarn and museums and Central Park. Thursday we'll have dinner in Brooklyn with one of my dearest, oldest friends and his family. Maybe it's as simple as getting one really good photograph.

10 June 2007


Today was spent at Woofstock, down on Front Street. Who knew several thousand dogs and their owners could shut down a major street to car traffic? Big dogs, little dogs and in betweenies. Wet, dry, perky and tired. What an event.

06 June 2007


Why, yes. Today is my birthday.
This is a quick pre-wine post to show off my fabulous, exciting gifts.
I got this:

A box of 30 postcards featuring Blythe, photographed by the brilliant Gina Garan.

And this:

A book after which I have been lusting since it was just a rumour. It's finally in stores and is now in my hands. Gorgeous stuff in here. I'll do some proper scans another day.

Off to drink now.

03 June 2007

The Rest of the Package

Here is the rest of the loot received from my
Secret Pal. What's in the little purple bag?
A necklace made with her own hands.
How lovely.
Thanks again, girl.
I've started another pair of vintage style slippers with the pink colour.

I'm totally over the whole ripping incident. Casting on a new lace project has helped. It's called Sea and Shells and is the perfect pattern for that reclaimed peach tone lamb's wool from a while back. One small problem...I realize as I'm working with it, that I used way too much vinegar cleaning the yarn. Stinky. Still, with Value Village items, one has to be careful. I'll just soak the finished stole in lots of Soak.