Monday, March 30, 2009

A busy weekend

We had a great Yarn Roundtable on Friday night. 5 really different yarns, a full house, and a guest in from out of town.

This guest and I, we have fun when we're together. We also do lots of work on Knitty in between the laughing and the trying not to buy really great shoes and the drinking of a coffee or two. We got some great stuff done this time.

Meanwhile, we also did these neat things [all pics are iPhone pics...not the clearest, but they'll have to do]:

Spun standing up at the back of The Purple Purl while Roundtable was going on. That's THE Denny, spinning on her brand-new charkha, gifted to her by a big group of her friends, instigated by that guest woman! Said guest is seen here spinning on her new Journey Wheel. Both wheels were purchased from a woman who was done with spinning, and that made these two women very happy. Everything goes round and round in this world, eh?

Stopped by guest's favorite glass shop...Tank Fire + Metal. They make such glass beads [there should be a better word for the beads they make. The are SO much more than beads] and things with their glass. Guest indulged in something skullish. I went for the earrings I've been looking at in the shop for months. Icy blue-green, transparent discs on silver ear wires.

That afternoon, we stopped by a really cool fabric shop that I'd wanted to visit for months. I'd been reading the owner's blog and loved her style and choice of fabrics. Found some great fabric, and wanted to see if they had or or could order another version that I'd seen on teh interwebs. And was treated by the boss (I'm assuming, since I was directed to her by the nice girl behind the cash) as if I'd asked her to wipe my tushy. That so rarely happens, but it really was disappointing. There are so many nice ways to say, "no, I'm sorry -- I can't get that in" that don't have to make a customer feel bad for asking, you know?

The afternoon was beautifully redeemed by a visit to our new favorite Roncesvalles coffeehouse, Tinto. Guest, other Amy and me Amy brought our wheels inside, found an empty space, and spun the afternoon away. We also got to enjoy their sweet potato/black bean/cheese burrito and good coffee. And the servers were all charming as hell, amused or curious about what we were doing, and we felt very welcome to stay. Yay for Tinto! We'll be back for sure.

In a stunning turn of events, I walked out on a Toronto Police Office ticketing my car, because I'd been too late to get to the meter and refresh. I told him I was just coming to do that and...get this...HE TOOK THE TICKET OFF. I have never had a police officer do that in Toronto and was absolutely gobsmacked. Bought the refresher ticket, of course, and thanked the man.

Then it was Earth Hour, and guest and I pulled out our spindles and spun by candlelight. Quite effective, I thought

Finally, guest, THE Denny and I went to Milestone's for a frozen Bellini -- oh, yeah, and some dinner -- and then a movie. The three of us can attest that Duplicity is huge fun to watch and has made us all love Julia Roberts again. Clive Owen has always been in our love universe, and he is fab in this, as always.

Okay, so that's the weekend recap in pictures. A rather full one for frequent-homebody me, and I loved it. Guest has taken the train home and the house is too quiet without her. That'll last about an hour, and then the phone will ring and all will be well.

It's Monday! I say we all have a great week! Who's with me?

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New lace, and it's not Tuscany.

I started something new on the weekend and it felt so strange. After a little knitting, I realized this: I have not knit any lace of any sort except Tuscany...for 2 years. (I don't count Montego Bay as lace).

So clearly it was time I shook my head loose and saw what would come out. It looked like this:

Can you identify it? It's quite famous, designed by someone famous for lace triangles. Here, have a closer look:

Puckery! Swirly! Yes, it's a Shetland Triangle. I have wanted to knit one for at least two years and don't know what took me so long.

The yarn is a skein of Tess Designer Yarns' Cascade Silk that's been marinating in the stash for -- no exaggeration -- FIVE YEARS. It may be a little too variegated for this shawl, but I think it works just fine. I've wanted this pattern and this yarn made real for a long time, so might as well do them together and cross two things off my list!

I'm liberating another skein of laceweight [though this is arguably heavier than average laceweight, it is being knit into lace and that counts].

The yarn was in my stash so very long because I really wanted to design something original with it. I was unsuccessful, more than once. Just another reminder of the kind of mind and skill it takes to be a knitting designer more than once every other 2 years. You real designers rock, you know.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WWW for March 18, 2009

Happy March! Let's get to it!

This is the Year of Natural Fibers. Get more information on special events.

Start your own Longest Scarf with a team of five or more knitters. Imagine the possiblities! Read more about why you'd want to do such a thing at the link above.

All of this is their way to help raise $250,000 to create the largest flock of fiber animals in the world along with Heifer International.

Practice your crochet and recycle worn-out fabric...make a bowl!

Not into crochet? Here's something you and the kids can do together: a different kind of yarn bowl!

Super cool do-it-yourself buttons...for your next cardi, maybe?

Save time! Learn the super-efficient Norwegian Purl. No more moving the yarn in front of the needle!

Start early for next year and knit yourself a shamrock hat!

Want to work attached iCord? It looks really great as a finished edge. Here you go!

For our lucky readers in the UK, mark your calendars for Woolfest 2009! This year's event will be held on Friday 26th + Saturday 27th June 2009 at Mitchells Lakeland Livestock Centre, Cockermouth, Cumbria.

For those of us near the east coast of the US, we have Maryland Sheep & Wool to look forward to! May 2-3, 2009, at the Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, MD.

Knitty's editor, Amy, will be there this year for the first time!

See you next time!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

You guys have the best ideas.

So in the comments to my last post, out comes Stacy with a brilliant idea. Knitty post-its for LYS owners, customized to make referring their customers to a Knitty pattern as easy as possible.

Design done. Order goes in Monday. It's a brilliant idea and I'm not the least bit bothered that I didn't think of it myself. Knitty has always been all about collaboration, and dammit if this isn't just more proof of it.

I've got a few other things I'm stocking up on as well and when it's all ready, I'll let you know so if you need some, you can get some!

Thank you, Stacy, for the lightbulb! I'm looking forward to thanking you in person one of these days :-)

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Friday, March 13, 2009

The great joy of the after-Knitty rush

Rush as in endorphin rush [not as in "Rush! You must go somewhere!" because I've just done that mentally for 3 solid weeks]. There is this weird feeling when I put a new issue up for the world to see. First, there are little things that always need fixing. Always. Then people send in the loveliest notes and that is such a fine, fine way to spend an afternoon. Often, a nap follows [more like a passing out with relief, but usually in nap form].

The next day...what the heck do I do with myself? If you read this blog, you'll notice that I start to make lists of all the things I want to do that I couldn't do until the issue was live. So why break with tradition? Here's the list!

- In the middle of the production crunch, Claudia blogged about a sale on Grafton Fibers Darn Pretty Needles [DPNs...get it?]. They'd been out of my price range -- justifiably, since they're not only gorgeous, but totally handmade in Vermont -- but at the sale price? I ordered two sets. Checking their site today, I see there's a new colorway on sale. OOOh, so tempting.

- So what will I do with my brand-new DPNs? Well, there's this big sock thingy I'm lucky enough to be teaching at. And I have got a lot of socks to knit before August, so I'm going to get started! Knitting on pretty handmade needles makes everything even better.

- I'm eyeing the ugly living-room curtains with the same critical eye I took to our naked dining-room window after the last issue was finished. Time to get out the Bernina again! Just waiting for the right fabric to show up at Ikea.

- I have two gorgeous bags of hand dyed silk roving bought at Rhinebeck last fall. I am going to spin and ply all of it on my Ladybug in a reasonable amount of time. It's only 4 oz [though in silk, 4 oz goes a long way]. Will! Do! It!

- The ukulele group I belong to has a rather primitive forum architecture and I have been given supreme administrative powers to slap it into shape. The software is fine, it's just that the nice guys who set it up are musicians first. :-) Am scared I'll make it all go boom, so am taking my time.

- I need to design new Knitty shwag.

- I need to prepare for Maryland, because this year I AM GOING! I know it's crazy busy crowded with spinners and knitters and not as familiar to me as every inch of Rhinebeck is, but that's half the fun. Plus I'm going as part of Jennie the Potter's posse, which means I get in a day early to help her set up. And maybe map out the grounds a little to know what's where.

- I have a few big ideas for Maryland. Watch this space. I'm not telling yet.

- And I'm knitting, really. The top-down raglan in Lorna's Laces new Pearl yarn is going along swimmingly. Amy Swenson, new resident of Toronto [yay!!] and I are working on the design together. It's very simple, designed to take advantage of the drape of the non-woolly fibers in the yarn. Pictures forthcoming, promise.

And now I need to get to it!

By the way, I know my blogging has been pretty spotty for a while, and though part of it is due to the requirements of magazine production, most of it is due to Twitter. It's so easy to whip off a few sentences and maybe attach a single picture that it makes blogging seem ever so much harder. :-)

For those with RSS-feed readers, if you care to read the Twitterings of a geek knitting magazine editor, you'll find the feed here:

I will not be abandoning the blog, no sir! But I am loving the Twitter.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

WWW for March 4, 2009

Happy March! Let's get to it!

Admit it: we have all had yarn we wish we could do this to.

Take that, pilly, splitty, full-of-knots yarn!

Knitted Domestic Trophies. Cannot describe. Must see.

Have you seen it? Knitters now have their own Comic book, full of knitting heroes. It even includes a pattern at the end of each issue.

The crazy, tiny gloves designed and knit by Althea Crome for Coraline, the movie? Now you can knit a human-sized pair for your own hands!

Knitters always knew that our hobby kept us sane and mentally sharp...and now the Mayo proves it!

Schacht Spindle Company, maker of such gorgeousness as the Ladybug [my personal wheel], the Matchless and many other spinning and weaving products, is having a contest! Full details here. The prizes are insanely cool.

And finally, take a peek at Lorna's Laces new Ahah yarn. It's designed by Cat Bordhi to be the ultimate colorway to help you see what you're doing as you knit, stitch by stitch. More details on how the stuff works at the link above.

Don't forget...this Sunday, clocks go forward 1 hour. Read more about Daylight Saving Time [no "s" -- who knew?].

Late breaking news!

Do you love Sally Melville like I do? Are you near Tulsa, OK? Good news! Loops in Tulsa is hosting a book signing and workshop, March 19th-20, one of only two signings Sally and her daughter Caddy are planning! To reserve a place in line, attendees should e-mail, or call toll free 1-877-LOOPSOK. Everyone who registers for the signing by March 12 will be eligible to "win" a spot in the workshop/trunk show the following day, 12noon-2pm at Polo Grill (adjacent to Loops). Full details by contacting Loops.