Sunday, July 31, 2005

Rogue has a sibling!

You've waited a long time...we all have. It was worth it.

Meet Rogue's sibling, Eris -- an incredible creation offered in cardigan and pullover versions. Yum.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

spinning stuff in Toronto

i've been looking for a source for non-wool spinning fiber close to home and wasn't having much luck beyond the basement at Romni. i wanted to find stuff like The Copper Moth sells, but not necessarily in silk.

through a long chain starting at google, i ended up at Dreamspin Fibres, located just outside of the city in Milton. Maureen, the owner, has gorgeous taste in fiber and you should see her stuff. her polwarth locks gleam. she was doing some custom carding pulling from the huge rubbermaid bins of fiber lining both walls of her office. she also has cool stuff for felting, and thankfully, some cotton/lyocell and bags of silk roving for me. i bought enough neutral fiber now to keep practising until i get the hang of it. THEN i'm going back for some dyed roving, like the hot pink bamboo she gave me a little taste of.

Maureen is very cool, funny and immensely knowledgeable. if you need fiber, write her.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Booky news!

This has been in the works for months, so it was a relief to be able to spill the beans on the KnitCast -- my third book is signed!

With Knit Wit, the book packager came to me, which was cool. The subject matter and style were right up my alley and it was a good fit. Bingo -- book 1.

With Big Girl Knits, I've gotten to work on my favorite girl's pet project [on a subject that's very close to my heart] with said girl, learning tons of new stuff and making my brain expand in quite painful ways. I'm STILL not a math girl, but I'm learning. This book makes us both proud. Blammo, book 2.

But with this third book, it's MY pet project. It's about the aspect of knitting that's most directly connected with everything I touch, and so this book has been percolating in my head for at least 2 years. Some intense brainstorming with Jillian, and blammo -- we tweaked the proposal and I sent it to the one publisher I felt was right for this book: Interweave. And they wanted it. Voilà 3!

Everywhere I go, a little pocket Moleskine notebook goes with me. I'm filling it with things for this book. I have people to interview, books to read, fibers to swatch. I have a call for submissions to write.

The book will be in stores spring 2007. This time, I'm taking my time. Dammit. :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Come cruise sail with me in Manhattan, baby!

How exciting is this? Just confirmed this moment: The Point is planning a special brunch cruise on September 25 [from noon-3pm]. And I'm going to be there! Helane, the cool owner of The Point, wants to celebrate knitters AND Knitty's 3rd anniversary! There are all sorts of plans in the works, including a silent auction of some seriously cool knitting swag [proceeds to benefit charity], and other stuff!

Handily, it's also Stitches East weekend. So if you're doing Atlantic City Saturday, come join us on the water on Sunday for a nosh and a knit!

If you want to join us, call or e-mail The Point. I am so hoping to see my NY knitter friends and meet a whole bunch of new ones!

More details when I have them. Woo hoo!

p.s. although I have nothing against cruising, in either the way I meant it or the other way, I thought I'd better clarify. :-)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Eee! I did the KnitCast!

Marie asked me to chat with her ages ago, and we were finally able to mesh our schedules up earlier this month. The result...I'm on the Knitcast! Marie was great to chat with and by half after midnight her time, we finally said goodnight. I'm going to have to get me to Wales one day.

Anyway, you can listen if you like. I'm feeling all shy about it. [Not so shy that I wouldn't blog it, though. :-)]

BTW, there's kind of a big announcement during the Podcast...well, big for me, anyway! Something I haven't blogged about even. Hee hee! [No, i'm NOT pregnant. geez.]

Why not circs?

Well, isn't that something? Knitting needles that keep track of your place in the pattern automatically. What if you make a mistake? What if you tink? What about short rows?

Now THIS is something I'd like to test. Can't find anything more about it except a lot of blog posts like this one, so I guess it's just a design prototype. Anyone have any leads?

Saturday, July 23, 2005


went to the salon today for my regularly scheduled maintenance [hair]. the lady that puts goo on my head and i have often discussed knitting and she wants to learn [or re-learn]. well, she's going to europe for a month and what better time than now?

so i figger i've got a good 20 minutes once the goo is on before we can do anything, so why don't we run across the street to the knitting store and get her needles and yarn so she can get started? i could give her a refresher course and then we can rinse the goo off and i can get perkified while she knits in the corner.

we went. me with goo on my head, covered by a plastic bag. wearing shorts and a black salon robe-y thing. in public. across the street. had a lovely chat with a woman who decided she wanted to accompany us for half a block [i have no idea why]. we crossed the street, SUVs rushing past me in my goo-based attire.

the store was closed. of course. saturday in the summer is dodgy with uptown businesses. i hid behind her and we dashed the block back to the salon. by the time we got inside, we'd figured out where the next closest shop was so she could go after work.

i wish the shop had been open. the look on the faces of the people inside would have been worth it. and probably they would have understood...who wouldn't run across a street in a posh part of town with goo on their head just for the sake of inducting another innocent into our evil cult?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Trinity Point is underway

Yarn is Trinity.
I bought it at The Point.
Aren't I a clever girl? [oh, shush.]

Here's how it's going so far.

I like it. Pattern is from VK summer 04, with minor alterations to make the thing fit me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Support Team Knitty! You know you wanna!

Your donation will help fight breast cancer!

Another kind offer to entice you to support Team Knitty, this time from one of our team members, Shannon Okey!

For every $25 (or more!) donation to Team Knitty you add to your order at anezka handmade [that's Shannon's shop], you'll will receive a $10 certificate to the site! Time to stock up on issues of Knit Knit,  Erica Weiner yarn kits, knitting patterns, perhaps? Make a difference in the fight against cancer AND get some cool stuff for yourself. Don't see how you can lose! Thanks for the great offer, Shannon. That's very cool.

There's still a little gorgeous Nonokitty yarn left as well. You'll find Danielle's line of pink-based Team Knitty yarns here, and all proceeds will be donated through Team Knitty to the Run for the Cure. Thanks, Danielle!

We're really close: help us break $5000 and the stupid animated gifs will go away! Click on any of our team members' buttons over there on the right, including our newest member, Katherine! Any donation to any of us will help build our team total. Come on! Support the fight against breast cancer!

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

At home with Hub

Hub: here...can you see if this CD will work in your computer?
Amy: okay, give it to me.
[pause as disc is inserted]
yup, it works.
oh. wait. it's not mounting. it's just spinning. i can't get it to stop.
Hub: oh, yeah. it does that. now you're stuck.
Amy: so what you just did was the electronic equivalent of saying, "here, taste this" with the spoiled milk, then?
Hub: [guilty larf]

yeah, he managed to get it out. i'm going to knit now.

Monday, July 18, 2005

separation anxiety

no. more. potter.


funny how your brain reprograms itself when you finish one big book in 2 days. habsgirl read it overnight...that's gotta win some kind of prize.

so i'm done it and hub has it now and i'll re-read it -- or listen to it -- again before summer is out, but not now. i need something to read!

amazon saved me. as if it somehow KNEW i'd need help to get through the next week, my new Irving came today, along with a new favorite, Ruth Reichl. I'm not sure I love everything about her, but having reached the last 10 minutes of Garlic and Sapphires on my iPod, I am very fond of how she writes about food. So I got "Tender to the Bone", which is the first volume of her hippy foody history. The 2nd is also on audible, and since i have a few books to get this month, i just might bank that one for later.

anyone else use audible? i am finding it frustrating. what i want, they don't have. where is the atwood?? hub loves it for sciency stuff, but i'm coming to the end of my admiration for it at the moment. i've got two books to grab before my credits expire [i've lost at least one book that way] and then i can say byebye for now.

i'm blathering, aren't i?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter Book 6.

Done. 5pm, Sunday. Never read a book that fast in my life. Couldn't help myself.

Sigh. [No spoilers, here, please -- there's an interesting thread on the Knitty coffeeshop about the book for those who've finished it. I won't be responsible for wrecking anyone's enjoyment of this great book.]

Friday, July 15, 2005

MIT Weblog Survey

My turn.

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Now it's your turn.

It's Harry Potter eve!

When the first few books came out, I was curious. When people starting having midnight release events around book 4, I scoffed. Then I read my way up to book 4.

Tonight, book 6 comes out. I am unreasonably excited for someone my age. I don't care. Listen to the books on audio [read by Stephen Fry, because I'm sorry, but WHO can tolerate "Hawwy!" coming from the mouth of Jim Dale for more than 10 minutes? not me. but i digress] and you'll soon realize how weak a writer JK Rowling is. But how BRILLIANT a storyteller, at the same time. I have never been so swept up by a saga written by anyone else, despite the overuse of words like "rage" and owls that only "hoot". Would SOMEONE please buy Ms Rowling a thesaurus?

Still, the story is brilliant. Book 4 remains my favorite -- a clever, menacing, complicated story. LOVE IT. Book 5 was so dark, it put me in a pissy mood the whole time I read it. And then I forgot that, and got in a new pissy mood while I listened to it on my iPod a year later.

Anyway, I'll be at my local Book City picking up my copy at midnight tonight with the rest of the geeks. Party at Kew Gardens! Woo hoo!

p.s. I love this: [courtesy Torontoist] The Canadian edition is printed on recycled paper, so Greenpeace and the US National Wildlife Federation are asking everyone to buy the CDN edition, to help the environment. Torontoist says Harry Potter has saved 30,000 trees and about 8500kg of greenhouse gas emissions so far. Also, as far as I know the CDN editions are the same as the British ones. But the US editions have had changes made to the text to make them suit American readers, supposedly. Words like "lift" and "boot" and "braces" are replaced with the US equivalents ["elevator," "car trunk", "suspenders"]. You know the first book was RENAMED in the US, but not up here, right? Not that we're bragging or nothin.

She's back! She's back! She's back! She's back! She's back! She's back!

It's been way too long, and heaven knows how long it will last, but may I be the first to announce the return of our beloved knittingfrau! Jillian, aka my co-author and favorite girl.

The last time some of you saw her, little boy was just a bump in her tummy, hiding behind a chainsaw.

Welcome back, Ms J!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Time to frivol.

One long walk in the rain in my Birks in NY a few weeks ago and my feet were unrecognizable. Scrubbing wouldn't get them clean...seriously. How ooky is that?

The only remedy: a good pedicure.

By the way, I was ecstatic to learn that Parisians are using Birks as the perfect footwear antidote to too-cute Boho overload. [Relevant article is on the very bottom right of the page.] I have not yet succumbed to Boho, but I have recently been spotted in...get this...a SKIRT to help beat the heat. Accompanying footwear: these silver Birks. [style is Madrid, in case anyone wants to know]

It is official: bad-foot Amy recommends Birkenstocks as THE footwear for people with falling arches and plantar fasciitis. I have very expensive [feh] custom orthotics, which I wear with my Blundstones, but all summer long, you will see me in Birkenstocks. I walk in them pain-free and happily. I have, at last count, so many I can't count. My source: Jestel KG for free-but-slow shipping and good bargains, if your size is in stock. Bonus: they slide under the radar at CDN customs cause they know how to mark a package. Baumhouse, who can get anything they don't carry [as long as it's in the German catalog] and takes Paypal. No such luck with the customs, but they'll come quickly. Also, see eBay.

I used to read rapturous praise from every Birk wearer about their shoes, and even for the first year I wore them, I was merely fond of them. Didn't quite see where rapture came in. But three years in now, my feet are totally used to the rock-solid anatomically correct support they give and I see why everyone raves.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It's like a 4-star experience at a good restaurant

I've been listening to Garlic and Sapphires on my iPod -- by Ruth Reichl, former food critic for the New York Times. And the thing I'm taking away so far is that the experience, including the service and the presentation, is half the enjoyment of any good meal. World-class food ruined by bad service earned the Tavern on the Green 1 star out of a possible 4.

I give Axelle de Sauveterre 4 stars, then. Here's what I found waiting for me when I got home today.

I've ordered from Axelle before [see the Clapotis below...also in Axelle's yarn] and every package comes with this attention to detail. She chooses tissue to wrap that coordinates with the colorway of the yarn you've chosen.

Her ribbons match the tissue.

A few words from William Blake are the perfect counterpoint to this skein of hand-painted Bamboo in the Reed Fairy colorway.

Kisses. Exactly.

Thank you, Axelle. That's a hell of a prize I won.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Yarn S.O.S.!

I hope one of you can help... I didn't buy enough Jaeger Trinity when I was at The Point last month [doi!]. I thought I'd be knitting something different with it. And now they only have one additional ball left in my color/dyelot. Is anyone able to help?

I need 2-3 balls of Trinity in color Zest [that's the yellowy green on the top of the color chart], dyelot 2711. I will pay. I will say thank you a lot.

In case you wonder, I'm planning to knit the cable/lace cardigan from VK 2004 that I've been dreaming of ever since last summer but could never find a suitable yarn [and yes, I've swatched and LOVE the fabric]. Look at this version...the pattern is so pretty! In case anyone hasn't yet met Trinity, it's delicious. It is light as air, but full of texture and enjoyable to knit as long as you can deal with non-stretchy yarn.


Bingo! Found a bag at The Websters. They're very nice, too. They have spinning stuff. Hrm...why are all the cool spinning places not in Toronto?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Did you know I still knit? I do.

Here's a little retrospective of my recent activity.

This is the old faithful mimi verylong pattern again, this time done with a skein of Silken in sherbet and just a bit of the skein of superfine silk I bought from Danielle last spring in "Light my Fire". I preferred Danielle's choice of colors -- pink, cherry red and yellow -- to the Silken skein, but just couldn't make lace work (in time for the wedding, mostly) with yarn that fine, so worked them held together. It's very long and quite wide and I wore it over a long, black sleeveless linen dress to my cousin's wedding last month. I think Danielle's original Light My Fire is one of my favorite colorways ever.

Someone's been waiting to see this for a while. Hi, Axe! This is Axelle's bamboo in the Briar Rose colorway. 840 yards of it. It was meant to be the stole I wore to my cousin's wedding, but the timing didn't work out and I just finished it this past week. As you can see, she is LONG. I knit it to the pattern width, so that I could get as much length out of it as possible. It's significantly finer than the yarn the Clapotis pattern calls for and I knit it on it took me a LONG time. If you look at the pics of J and I at The Point, you'll see it on the table cause I was working on it then too.

Anyway, I love the yarn. It's soft and sheeny and so pretty. I wish the color of the Briar Rose colorway were as deep dark brown on the bamboo as it is on the cashmere, but this is what happens with different fibers. Also, this yarn freaked me and Jenna and Steph out, because we were sure it was more green than brown when I first cast it on. I figured it out in the hotel room with Jillian. We'd been under fluorescent lighting at the *$ that night, and when viewed in natural light, this yarn is clearly brown. Never seen that effect happen so strongly before.

So that's what I've been knitting. I've also been collecting amazing tidbits of yarn and am trying to figure out what to knit next. I have a quantity of Summer Tweed in screaming pink that I adore. I have enough Blue Sky dyed cotton to make a Kyoto, but don't have the brain engaged enough to work out the math I need to do on it. I grabbed a skein of Schaefer cotton when I was at Flying Fingers [the wedding was in the next town...what luck!] and that's sitting at the back of my head. Burning a hole in my pocket are the 10 skeins of Trinity in summer colors to make...what? I'd love a lacy cardigan. In fact, I'd really love some completely non-traditional lacy cardigan patterns for future issues of Knitty.


Friday, July 08, 2005

New. Irving.

On June 12th -- this coming Tuesday!! -- new John Irving will be published. "Until I find you", it's called. Sometimes I feel like I'm just treading water, reading whatever it is I read, between Irvings. Just killing time till the new one comes out. I didn't know this one was coming. Because he takes so long between books [it feels like a long time to me, anyway], I choose not to seek out the next one. I love the surprise. And I just found the listing on Amazon today.

For some reason, I quite dislike Irving's non-fiction. But his novels are exactly what I want from a novel and I love them.

I also have changed the way I drive as a result. I don't do it intentionally, but every time I start to turn the wheel when in the middle of an intersection, waiting for my turn to go left, I remember and straighten out. [Did you READ "A Widow for One Year"? I rest my case.]

He lives in my town some of the year. I've never seen him. Perhaps that's for the best.

New! Irving! On! Tuesday! between that and the new Potter Friday night and all the work that remains on Big Girl Knits, next week promises to be a very good book week. It'd better be.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

stuff you maybe didn't know

I had a good e-mail chat with M, a designer who'd submitted to the summer issue, ABOUT the summer issue. He couldn't believe the issue was full of designs for men created by women. Where were all the male designers?

I ask the same question. As I told M, according to my count, we had 4 men submit patterns for summer. FOUR! Of those, two were accepted, two weren't. [As I told M, we don't do reverse discrimination here...and as always, I picked what I thought were the best patterns for the issue, no matter who designed them.] I got to corner my new favorite designer in person at The Point, and you'll be seeing his work as one of the summer surprises. But still, that's just 5 male designers in all. Where are the men?

I don't know. As delighted as I was with all the features that came in from male writers, I was really surprised to see so few men submitting patterns. But maybe that will change in the future. Here's what M is doing about it: he's calling for submissions to his new online mag, His message follows:

"We've extended our fall deadline to August 15 - which gives folks almost 5 weeks to put something together. We're looking for patterns written by men and women that are for men, and articles/essays that are relevant to mens knitting stuff. All the details can be found on the homepage - and submissions/questions can be addressed to me at"

So there you go. Maybe guys are shy. Maybe they didn't know about the issue. Who knows? Anyway, there's a new forum now for them to express their creativity. And Knitty always welcomes cool designs from guys. Seriously. If you get the Knitty style, we want to see your work.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Summer Knitty in the City

She's up...or should I say he?

It's our summer Man Issue, but there are things for all sexes, if you ask me. I'll be knitting several of the patterns for myself! Anyway, we hope you like.

Don't miss our special contests page, whatever you do! We've now got TWO [2!] contests going on, and you'd better act soon, cause when the fall issue is up, the contests are done!

Do I need to mention that the contests come with excellent swag? They do. Go. Enjoy! Be well.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


i wonder sometimes what people imagine the Knitty production room looks like. let me tell you about the summer issue.

we're just finishing up, incorporating all the changes and fixes all our designers and writers have sent in. technical editor Mandy Moore [a heavenly gift to us] has kept everything tidy and accurate, testing all our patterns, and corralling the feedback so it doesn't get lost. Kristi Porter has done the same with the advertising, bless her. and now comes the last push of work. lots of checking, fixing, proofing, testing, uploading. all that stuff.

this time, what's different is where i'm doing it.

i'm sitting on a 1940s lawn chair in my back yard, under the shade of the pear tree i planted to honor my grandma [the same one Knitty is dedicated to] 5 years ago. behind me from the 2nd bedroom window, my iPod is sending out a nonstop stream of yummy through the Bose speaker thingies my hub bought me for chanukah last year. the dang thing comes with a teeny remote, even. it seemed an extravagant gift at the time, but now i can't imagine our back yard without it!

next to me, a half-sipped caramel frappuccino light. in front of me, little fuzzy rabbit face is sleeping in the grass, after realizing that she is, in fact, a bunny and actually likes the outside. we have her in a huge exercise pen [bought at a garage sale for $10, thankyouverymuch] so she feels safe and we know she can't get lost.

you think where you create something has anything to do with the quality of that something? i hope so.

p.s. a little taste for you. :-) you'll need quicktime.