I’ve been a bad blogger, but I’m a retail manager, and the holiday’s just ended, so forgive me. We survived our first holiday season at the studio. All in all it went pretty great. We are blessed by a great staff, so we all pitched in. I rewarded myself with a trip to VEGAS. I had a vacation day, and we were closed New Years day, so David and I took a four day trip to Vegas. We had a blast. We stayed at the super lush Bellaggio
which had this stunning Chihuly glass ceiling
Of course, we had to start by going to Brooklyn, our home town
After leaving that surreal sight we went to one of my favorite hotels, Mandlay Bay. It was pretty in an over the top, yet classy way (no easy trick in Vegas)
Then of course we went to fake Venice. Since David and I had been their twice we were pretty amused at the Rialto bridge taking you into San Marco Square, but I gotta give it to them, it was pretty.
We got to see Bette Midler, something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do. She was fantastic. Many jokes about her age. She is amazing.
Back at our humble hotel home we visited their crazy holiday greenhouse
We gambled on the cheap machines for three days, and ended our trip $2.00 up . . . whoo hoo! We are soooooo small time, but as my pal Nell likes to say of my cheapness “and that’s why you own your apartment”. I must say, in this economy, I’m pretty thrilled with our cheapness.
All in all, a great trip.
With 12 hours on planes and in airports, I got lots of knitting done. I took the sleeves of the sweater that wouldn’t die (the Cobblestone). I didn’t want to take the whole giant sweater with me, and I knew I’d finish the sleeves, so I cast on a new project, Karabella’s Cabled Cardigan.
When I got home I attached the sleeves and started the ENDLESS yoke. I can’t WAIT to be done with this bad boy. David better wear this all the time or I’ll kill him.
and yet more cables . . . my head was getting cold before the holiday’s, so I knocked off this little beret out of scraps I had around. I used my old Rowan Tapestry, I could never figure out what to do with it.
I’m in a total cable mode lately, and I just started swatching for the cable class I’m teaching at the studio.
One down, five to go. Swatching hell
I finished the swatches for the gauge class I’m teaching. Everyone teased me about the gauge class being the class nobody wants to take, but I’m teaching two sessions, and one is already sold out . . . go figure
A scant five months later . . .
I am listening to This American Life, still in my pjs (it’s 2:00 pm) loving my snow day. Yesterday it was our first really soggy, wet, snowy day. It being a Friday I was finished at the shop by 4:00 pm. It had been a nice day at the studio with a steady stream of folks coming in to stock up on yarn for a snowy weekend. There was a really cheerful, pre weekend feel to the day. I was home by 5:00 pm (LOVE Fridays), lit a fire, and waited for David to get home. I did a little spinning while I waited. I also wanted to finish up the baby hat & booties I was working on for David’s friend. I had knocked off the hat and had cast on the bootie on the subway ride home.
I also had brought home the demo scarf we made at the Studio on the super cool little Cricket Loom. There’s no pattern, and about everyone’s hands have been on this thing. Claire set it up and pulled a bunch of grey & purple yarns. Then she started it, but we left it on the project table for customers to play with. This thing has Jiffy, Wool-Ease, Vanna’s Glamour, Homespun & Cupcake. It’s kind of the kitchen sink scarf. Weaving is so fun & easy, I may have to buy myself one of these little beauties (thank you store discount!)
and then I’m going to force myself to do one of the two tedious chores I have. Either finish the bamboo top or weave in all the ends of that woven scarf (althoug I might make someone at the Studio do that!).
Gotta make another bootie now.
I’ve been a bad blogger, but I have an excuse
1) opening a brand new yarn studio
3) having my asst. go out of town for a week
and that brings us to now. On top of all that craziness (I didn’t even mention getting a new class & workshop schedule ready to launch in December) David got sicker then I’ve ever seen him. Right now we are sitting at home, skipping a holiday party because he started to feel a little sick again. But (joy) we turned on our TIVO to find a brand new feature . . . it’s connected to our NetFlix & we can just download movies. SOOO cool.
In the land of knitting, I finished my summer top just in time for winter. Now it will sit, and sit and sit while I avoid doing the finishing. God I hate finishing.
I did manage to make some major progress on the miles of Stockinette that is the Cobblestone Sweater. I finished the body & now I’ve started the sleeves. You can keep your &^$& dps, I’m a magic loop gal all the way.
I’ve also been having fun with crochet. I got a skein of one of the brand new colorways of Homespun (a nice perk of the job), called Wildfire . . . really pretty. So in two days I did this little ruffled crochet scarf pattern. I’m kind of digging crochet.
I’ve felt all over the place lately. These last three weeks have been an utter blur. The Studio opened on Tuesday and I’ve been working pretty much non stop to get to the opening. Last weekend I was trying to get my Vanna Glamour shawl done for the opening night party. I looked at my couch and realized my knitting was a scattered as my brain felt.
Here’s a couple of bad pics
It’s been ages since I’ve had a moment to blog. I’m up to my (&^% in boxes getting the Studio ready to open. I have managed to get sick for about a week in the middle of it all (yeah). The sucky part was missing the Yarn Harlot when she spoke at B & N in Park Slope. Michelle (who is cool lady working in the Studio with me) even saved me a seat, and I was WAY too sick to go. On a brighter yarny note, I did get a lot of knitting done in my sick bed.
Amongst working sun up to sun down David and I did manage to squeeze in two great weekends. Two weeks ago David and I did our Brooklyn open house thing. I wrote about our Saturday at the cemetery, and then Sunday we did a whole other round. First we stopped at the Montauk club. It’s right down the street from our house, but I’ve never seen the inside. It’s both opulent and oddly run down at the same time. Kind of hard to describe.
On our way to Fort Greene we passed Urban Glass, who was also doing an open house. It’s a really big glass blowing place that has a gallery and they give classes and rent their space to artists. I love that places like this still exist in Brooklyn.
Next we went to the fab new(ish) Brooklyn Flea Market. It was a perfect fall day and the flea market was great. We spent the rest of the day walking around Fort Greene. I must admit, we don’t spend much time there. It’s really cool. The neighborhood has changed so much, and it’s filled with great restaurants and shops. We will definitely be going back for the Halloween festival next week. I’ve always wanted to see the dog costume contest!
After another back breaking week at work setting up the store, I was hanging on to the light at the end of the tunnel . . . RHINEBECK!!!!!!!!! We headed out late on Friday night and got into our B & B around 10:00 pm. We didn’t get to see the amazing grounds until we looked out our window the next morning to see this:
We were staying in a spa / B & B on a ton of land, called Buttermilk Spa. Just like last year, it was bright blue sky and perfect color. . . only difference, about 20 degrees colder then last year.
Our first glimpse of the fair grounds was an explosion of red
We decided after such a killer week that we would take it easy this weekend. I did a little shopping, ran into some pals, watched some Canine Frisbee toss, ate some cheese, and then we headed back to the B & B in the afternoon to go to the spa and walk around the grounds.
My first day’s booty was a pound of this stunning Corriedale roving
After a wonderful dinner, great sleep, great breakfast it was back to the fair grounds. Our pal Francesca was meeting us. She was on hiatus from the Spamalot tour, and we’ve been trying to go to Rhinebeck together for three years, and we finally made it!
We started again by visiting the animals. Why can’t I have a farm???
Francesca went through her budget in the first 10 minutes or so . . . mostly at Brooks Farm. I picked up another pound of Merino roving
I’ve been working WAY too hard for the last four weeks. So, my boss forbade me to do any work this weekend. Being the good employee that I am . . . I listened to him. This resulted in a perfect Saturday in Brooklyn (and Sunday is starting out pretty nice too!). First we spent a lazy Saturday morning at home. I got a nice hunk of my bam boo top done
Back to Angels & Accordions. . . it started with a trio of accordion players & the dance performance in front of the gate. First a group of mourners came out all dressed in black under black umbrellas.
Shortly after one mourner laid some flowers on the ground, a group of dancers (presumably the dead) appeared in white flowing costumes. They danced with the mourners, and then after the mourners embraced the dead, they slipped out of their arms and left the mourners with empty arms.
The dancers then walked up the hill into the cemetery and the whole crowd followed. For the next two hours, hundreds of us followed guides holding large black and white umbrellas, throughout the cemetery.
As you walked you came across the dancers, singing mournfully, draped eerily and dancing beautifully all around the graves. It was really spectacular. My favorite was walking under a low hanging willow and finding the dead hidden amongst the branches quietly singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (later we found out that Frank Baum was buried near by).
Summer is drawing to a close. Tomorrow is the first day of fall. Sigh. This time of year used to always fill me with anticipation of the coming season. For years as a kid it was the start of a new school year, then for 20 something years in theatre, it was the start of a new theatrical season. As a knitter it’s time to say goodbye to knitting tanks & camis and hello chunky sweaters. This year I’m feeling a bit apprehensive about the future, but that’s because of a whole lot of stuff going on with my personal & family life. We cast on. We forge ahead. My favorite mantra from one High Holiday service I went to years ago was . . . I will try, I will fail, I will try again.
We are still harvesting a bunch of late season veggies. Here’s yesterday’s pickings
Just in time for the end of summer, I finally cast off the Lotus Blossom tank
Now that I finally got that bad boy off my needles, I’m going back to the Cotton Bamboo top that has been languishing in the knitting bag. It’s coming along nicely. I feel like this cable pattern is going to take me forever, so I might cast on David’s Cobblestone Sweater, and alternate between the two projects.
Since I avoid finishing like the plague, I decided to convert the pattern to in the round. For some stupid reason I thought it would be easier to divide for front and back when I got to the cable pattern. I somehow thought I would have to think too much to convert the flat chart to in the round. That was (of course) dopey. There;s nothing too it, and now I’ve just created another seam for myself. Curse you mattress stitch!!
The last two weeks have been insanely busy. I just got back from dropping my mom & sister off at the airport. It was a nice visit, but I’ve been so busy at work I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as I’d like. We had a great Brooklyn day yesterday. We went to Prospect Park to see the exhibit on the re imagining of Grand Army Plaza. I hope we’re still living here when this gets done For those of you have been here, you know why this is long overdue. The Arch, Baily Fountain, the Farmer’s Market, they all sit on disconnected hunks of concrete, seemingly impossible to get to without taking your life in your hands dodging traffic.
All week I didn’t get much knitting done, but I did manage to finish (almost) the Lotus Blossom Tank. It’s blocking waiting it’s dreaded finishing.
It’s been a couple of weeks full of surprises and gifts. A huge life change (more about that later) and being the recipient of a moment of pure generosity.
Are you a product knitter or a process knitter? I am a little of both, but primarily I’m about the product. I want the garment. Sure, I love to knit it, but I want the finished item. In fact, if you ask my husband, it’s pretty hard to get me to knit for anyone else. I’ve knit myself a whole wardrobe! Then there’s my pal Kiana or Patrick who will find a pattern they love, or yarn they love and just knit. Patrick usually says “I don’t know who I’ll give it to, but I have to knit this”. Well Saturday I was lucky enough to be with Patrick when he was showing off his latest work. It was a cabled vest made from beautiful hand dyed J-Knits Mohair. It was a soft rose color and it was SOOOO pretty. I told him I loved it, and a few minutes later, he handed it to me and said “I want you to have this”. I teared up. Nobody has ever just handed me something so pretty. I was knocked over. Here I am happily wearing a beautiful hand knit, NOT knit by me
My own hand knits are coming along. I’ve put aside the Cotton Bam Boo Top, so I can finish my Lotus Blossom Tank. I’m doing tons of modifications (like everyone has). It’s funny how many people “almost” like this pattern, yet we like it enough to knit it and make it our own. I’m following, as my base, the modifications on Lickety Knit. However, because my gauge is so insane, I have to do a lot of my own. I’m using Alchemy Silk Purse, which is supposed to be 22 stitches per 4″on a US 5. I get 25 stitches per 4″ on a US 6!!!!
Here’s how it’s looking so far
I decreased 28 stitches instead of the 14 called for, and knit the garter rows and another 3/4″ of stockinette. Then I increased back up to the original 200 stitches. My gauge is tight and it seemed to fit me better that way. I went back to a US 5 to maintain my gauge when I divided for front and back.
Here’s my five lotus blossoms/alien heads (instead of the 4 the pattern calls for)
As for my other news . . . this week I started an exciting new job with Lion Brand Yarn. They are opening a New York flagship Studio, and I was hired as the Studio Manager. I don’t want to give away to much right now (stay tuned for details), but it’s going to be a center for learning, sharing, & special events. The real focus of the studio is to teach and inspire.
What I’ve been most struck by in my first week is the passion and dedication of everyone working for Lion Brand. It’s a family owned business and has been run by the same family for 130 years, which is pretty special. I have a lot of work to do in the next few months, but it’s an exciting project to be involved with. I’m honored to be working with so many people who have such a passion for fiber arts. The design department is a constant buzz developing new yarns, patterns, colors. It’s all pretty inspiring.