Sip Sip Knit: A “Flight” of Learning & Fun!
June 2-4, Valley Forge, PA
Join Melissa Leapman, Patty Lyons, Brooke Nico and Carol Sulcoski for 2 days of learning + 2 evenings of wine, knitting and laughter.
What could be better than a relaxing weekend knitting with friends while sipping wine?
A relaxing weekend retreat spent knitting with Melissa Leapman, Patty Lyons, Brooke Nico, and Carol Sulcoski!
Please join us for this fantastic weekend of fiber, fun and learning. Start by perusing our list of 12 workshop offerings plus 4 Sip2together market place sessions: four sessions from each of these nationally renowned teachers and designers. Come for a celebration of knitting, fun and friendship on Friday night (of course there will be wine & cheese!!)
Make it a weekend by booking a hotel room at our great group rate (booking link below) and simply stroll from your room to the classrooms.
If you can’t join us for the whole weekend, join us for a class or two! We have three fabulously priced packages: Magnum (best value), Flight, or Split, so pick what’s best for you.
We’ll also have a market place with books and DVDs from each of these talented teachers, along with a fresh batch of Black Bunny Fibers yarns (and SSK pattern kits!).
Register now – space is limited.
New This Year:
Sip2Together: Marketplace Sessions
A fun and relaxed combination of learning and knitting group. More casual than a 3 hour class with plenty of laughs and learning. This three hour knit session will be hosted by two teachers. There will be two 45 minute mini sessions as well as shopping, group knitting, and the “knit doctor is in” help sessions.
Come with your projects and your questions!
- Evening event, shopping and Workshops held at Double Tree Hilton. Conveniently located 28 miles from the airport and 18 mile from the Amtrak station.
Classes & Mini Sessions
Saturday June 3 & Sunday June 4
Morning classes 8:30 – 11:30 am
Afternoon classes & Afternoon Sip2Togther Session 1:30 – 4:30 pm
Evening Event – Sip Sip Knit Soiree!
Friday June 2 – 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Come meet your fellow Sip Sip Knitters and let’s kick off the weekend with (what else) a wine and cheese party! There will be yummy treats, a bar (first drink is on us!), plenty of laughs and DOOR PRIZES!!!! You never know what will happen with the four of us get together, so don’t miss it!
The special group rate is good until May 17th or until the block sells out so book now!
How to register:
- Choose Your Package or Ala carte (Split).
- Fill out your registration below with session choices. Don’t forget to pick 2 classes if you are buying the Flight or choose 4 classes if you are buying the Magnum.
Please do not submit more than one registration form.
- Pay online. NOTE: if you are booking ala cart you’ll put one item in your cart, then go back to the booking page to add the next item.
You can pay with Paypal or credit card. Payment is required to hold your class choices
- If your first class choice is sold out, we will contact you for your second choice.
- You will receive an email confirmation. KEEP THAT INFO HANDY!
1) The Magnum (the best value option – $255)
- Includes any FOUR sessions (4 classes or 3 classes and 1 knit session)
- Friday night event, Saturday night event
- Goodie Bag
- 10% off discount on all our stuff (books, DVDs, BBF yarn)
2) The Flight ($155)
- Includes any TWO sessions (2 classes, or 1 class and 1 knit session)
- Friday night event
- Goodie Bag
1) The Split (Everything ala carte – Pick what you like!)
- Choose as many classes as you’d like ($75 each)
- Choose any knit session you’d like ($75 each)
- $20 for the Friday evening event
1) REGISTRATION – Fill out form with package, class choices, and hotel
We will be having three grand prize winners as well as weekly participation prizes.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the goodies donated by our amazing vendors. More details to come!
For those of you that have taken classes with me, you know all about “Patty’s Big Box of Knitting Fails”. I seem to have an example of something tragic I’ve done in my knitting for nearly everything I’m teaching. I recently gave a talk about my fails and students are starting to send me in some hilarious fails of their own. Today’s episode, two never to be forgotten . . .
Knitting Fails – (Guest Edition)
I have written about gauge many times. I think about gauge, I teach gauge, I believe in gauge. I’ve filmed a video for a special cast on for gauge, written about how to measure when you can’t see your stitches, how to block your swatch, secrets of row gauge and how to swatch for in the round projects.
Right now nearly 300 knitters are swatching for the Tortola KAL, (jump in, we’re just getting started). There are THREE video tutorials just on gauge, as well as a how to document to teach you the math you need if your stitch gauge is off. There’s a lot of great info going on between knitters in my Ravelry group right now about gauge, so I thought I’d devote this month’s Tuesday Tip to the wonders of the . . .
5 Secrets of Stitch GaugeRead More»
Welcome to Tortola KAL!
It’s time for this year’s Knit-Along!! I am so excited to start another KAL on my Ravelry group. There will be tons of teaching and fun, prizes and a great garment! Think of it like a sweater class for the price of a pattern! There will be HOURS of video tutorials to help you every step of the way.
Once again our wonderful retail partner, the local yarn store FiberWild, will be our official yarn supplier for our KAL (at an amazing discount, plus free shipping!) You can order your yarn, as well as any needles or notions you’ll need. I would not be able to produce these knit-alongs without the support of my retail partner, so supporting FiberWild makes this and future KALs possible! Show them some love 🙂
$8 – Use promo code: TOR17 during the pre-sale period before Feb 20 and get 10% off!
After April 24th the pattern alone will be $8, the KAL – sweater class versions (with all the how tos, video tutorials, and modification notes) will be $14.
CLICK HERE for more information
TO ADD TO SHOPPING CART
So without further ado . . . introducing
It’s bitter cold here in New York, and it’s hard to believe a week and a half ago I was sailing the Caribbean with Melissa Leapman, Laura Nelkin and ship full of amazing knitters! It was also the sneak peek of my next Knit-along top, Tortola!
That’s right it was
Nautical Knitting Cruise 2016!Read More»
We all know finishing can make a project look “homemade” or “handmade.” I’ve written several Tuesday Tips on seaming. We’ve looked as seaming garter stitch, shoulders, and even tackled the dreaded topic of selvedge edge and mattress stitch. No matter how wonderful your seaming, if your ends are not woven in well, your piece will look homemande. So the question is: how do you weave in ends? The answer is, there is more than one answer . . . so, I am going to devote a few Tuesday tips to the topic of
Weaving in Ends Skimming
If you want to knit faster, if you want to knit better, and if you want to escape the cold in January and stroll by a river . . . join me in San Antonio River Walk forRead More»
Vogue Knitting Live is around the corner, and it’s class raffle time!
Recently you might have noticed my growing fondness for the amazing power of dropped stitches. I wrote about my two drop stitch patterns that I created after working on my new class.
At Vogue Knitting Live Minneapolis I’m premiering that BRAND NEW class, “Let it Go: Drop Stitch Patterns”. Here’s YOUR chance to win a class!
It’s been in the 90s for weeks here in NY. If you want to knit, but can’t yet reach for the wool or alpaca, here’s a round up of some summer knitting patterns (click here for more information or to purchase). Still plenty of time to get a quick summer knit off your needles!
To make it more fun, you can join in the Twitter & Facebook raffle! Share this post on Facebook or Twitter (make sure to tag me) as many times as you like from now until 8/26 for a chance to win a 50% off coupon for anything in my Ravelry Store. Every time you tweet or post on Facebook, your name will go in the “knitting prize bag”, and a random name will be drawn on 8/26! Make sure you tag me so I can see your share!
Summer Knitting Pattern Round UpRead More»
On June 20th clue #1 for the Corcoran KAL came out and over 175 knitters cast on for their gauge swatches. Now we’ve just released clue #4, and there are over 350 knitters that have joined in.
Knitters who join us before Aug 15th will still get the 15 video tutorials (over 2 hours of filmed sweater instruction), all the sweater modifications and knitting how tos for just the price of the Corcoran pattern – $7.00!!
Corcoran KAL updateRead More»
This year I spent my birthday with the Rochester Knitting Guild. If a girl has to be away from her hubby on her birthday this is a pretty great place to be. I was surrounded by wonderful knitters who were funny, nice and talented . . . and there was cake involved.
For a while now I’ve been writing a column for Creative Knitting called Patty’s Purls of Wisdom. Knitter’s send in their questions, ala Dear Abbey, and I answer them. It’s full of all kinds of knitting advice, but here a few days before Christmas I thought I’d share a holiday edition.
Knitting (Christmas) AdviceRead More»
Let’s not kid ourselves. We all want to make hand knit gifts for all our friends and family, but sometimes time gets tight. For that, I’m hear to help with
Quick Knits for GiftsRead More»
It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and this time of year we often pause to think about what we are grateful for. I present for you . . . .
A Knitter’s Thanksgiving
What this knitwear designer / knitting teacher is grateful for and why.Read More»
Online Knitting Webinar
It’s time for another Webinar. I’m returning to teach Secrets of Yarn Substitution
|Join Patty Lyons for this informative, fun web seminar and learn all of the secrets of yarn substitution!
5 Best and Worst Things About Working From Home
Image from Empower Network
About a half a year ago, I made the amazing leap to become a full time knitting teacher and knitwear designer. It’s been an crazy ride with some pretty bendy learning curves. My plan for starting slow did not work (not complaining), so I had to scramble to get my systems in place. In the last six months I’ve:
– Finished 10 sweaters, 2 shawls, 2 cowls, 1 hat and 1 wrister design for magazine & book publication
– Taught at 5 knitting shows
– Taught at 3 knitting guilds
– Taught at 2 knitting shops
– Attended 2 trade shows
– Taught 1 online webinar
and a partridge in a pear tree . . .
Here’s some things I’ve learned about working from home (drum roll please)
5 Best Things About Working From Home
5 Worst Things About Working From Home
|5. Spend less money on metro card.
I know, does not seem like a big savings, but it really is!
4. No annoying corporate meeting where nothing gets done.
3. I can listen to whatever music I want. Pandora has become my best friend. She can really surprise me with her odd choices.
2. You never have to go out in the terrible winter weather.
and the # 1 best thing about working from home
1. Pants optional!
|5. Spend more money on firewood.
Especially this winter, I’m already on my second firewood delivery
4. No stopping by offices of your favorite people.
3. Neighborhood noises.
2. You never leave the office.
and the # 1 worst thing about working from home
1. Pants optional!
* annoying sound provided here
Audio version of a sharp stick in the eye!
What are your top 5 best and worst things about your work place. Let me know!
It’s 95 degrees in New York . . . for the third day in a row! I had no idea when I started the Point Temperature Lottery (10% off all yarn when it’s over 90 degrees, 15% off all yarn when it’s over 95 degrees, 20% off all yarn when it’s over 100%) we’d be hitting lottery days in the first week of June!!!
I’m hiding in the airconditioning reinventing my yarn. I did a special order of 2 bags of Cascade Magnum for my brother’s freakishly large scarf, and ended up only using 1 bag. So know I have two skeins of Cascade Magnum left, and I don’t feel like knitting with it.
I was looking at it and it’s like pencil roving, so . . . I’m spinning it
Saturday night David and I hit the road to visit our niece in Saratoga Springs. She’s in College up there and we’ve been meaning to visit. It’s an amazing town full of mansions. We stayed in a great B & B just outside of town. It was gorgeous.
I had worn the eyelet tunic from Vogue the day before, and decided it would look better on someone taller, so I gave it to Alana. Here she is looking adorable
The next day we headed over to the awsome Saratoga Needle Arts. If you are ever in the area, you have to stop by. Great selection and fantastic prices. Usually when I’ve seen a yarn store in small towns in New York, Conn, Mass, they jack up the prices because there’s no other store around for customers to compare them to. (I could say the same for one or two stores in Brooklyn that shall remain nameless). This store’s prices were really good and they had a huge selection of yarn, books, patterns and notions. The owner was really nice. Alana had gotten me a gift certificate, so I got sweater blockers – YEAH!
How ironical (our favorite fake word, right in front of irregardless). The last few days have been a crazy roller coaster.
Last week sucked. Did I mention last week sucked?
First we got some bad news, then David got sick, then it was a long work week (spring ordering began – my first big ordering season . . . lots of work!), then I got sick. As is usually my luck I started to really get sick just at the end of my week, which for me is Saturday. For those of you who haven’t been to the Point on a Saturday . . . it is a sight to behold. It is hopping! Classes, shoppers, full tables of folks knitting and eating. Usually I tell my regulars that Saturday is my reward for the week. It’s the day I don’t pay bills, or write POs or do receiving, I just work with customers and enjoy the regulars and the general (chaotic) fun of the day. I did not get to enjoy Saturday because I felt AWFUL. Of course Sunday and Monday (my day’s off) was when I got to feel really sick.
Since I felt that I had spent most of the week feeling sorry for myself (and the first paragraph of this blog reinforces that!) I decided to change my !@#%$^ attitude and make this week better. Monday I finished David’s vest (my own design)
My Mr Green Jeans has taken a pause while I do some sample knitting for the shop. Here’s how it’s coming along
I got back this morning from a whirlwind 48 hour trip to Long Beach to attend the TNNA Winter Show. I took the red eye and got home at 6:30 am. I’m jet lagged and exhausted and left to sort through STACKS of information.
I left straight from the Point at 4:00 pm on Thursday and got into my GLAMOROUS Travelodge at 10:00 pm (1:00 am NY time). I waited way too long to book a hotel, so all the good ones were gone. The important thing is it was 5 blocks from the convention center and it had wireless and a clean bathroom.
I did get a lot of knitting done on the plane. I spent the first hour or so getting all my notes together about what vendors I wanted to visit, what books I wanted to see, and what bags I wanted to check out. After that I worked on David’s vest and my Mr. Greenjeans.
Here’s David’s vest
I also got a big chunk of my Mr Green jeans in my yummy Rhinebeck yarn:
After sending a bunch of e-mails and checking my notes for the next day, I was sound asleep by 11:30 pm . . . and then wide awake at 2:00 am when the neighbor’s TV started to blare . . . sound asleep by 2:30 am . . . and then wide awake at 4:00 am when the hotel alarm clock went off (set by the last unfortunate tenant) . . . sound asleep by 4:15 am . . . and finally wide awake at 6:30 am when my wake up call came. An evening of waterboarding would have been more restful. Ah well, on to the convention floor to register by 7:45 am, and then on to my retailer’s meeting at 8:00 am. It was really interesting listening to retailers all over the country struggling with the same issues.
Next step, before hitting the sales floor, a stop at the wall of yarn & thread
I settled in with my $3.50 tiny muffin, and the worlds LARGEST map, to create game plan.
Check out this intimidating sales floor:
The brought a backpack and tote bag to collect samples, but that became fairly backbreaking. I noticed everyone around me brought empty rolling bags. Genius! Live and learn.
The next day I slept in until 8:00 am, and spend the morning marking my map for the places I was going to return. The floor opened at 10:00 am, and by 5:30 pm I had gone to the 25 vendors I was the most interested in and made a few more passes to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything.
The show was over at 6:00 pm and my flight wasn’t until 9:45 pm. Do you know how if you have time to kill before a flight you can always get something to eat, look around some shops, get a magazine, maybe check your e-mail with the wireless you can find. Yeah, not at Long Beach Airport. There is one magazine stand, and one stack bar with ham & cheese, hot dogs and muffins. . . and that’s it. In addition, the gates are in one of those freezing cold temporary buildings. The airport may have sucked, but at least my flight was late!
One other thing I didn’t really think through was how I was going to cram all the stuff I collected into my little carry on. There was all the color cards and yarn samples:
Today I came home to my unfinished Pin up Queen. I HATE finishing. One more sleeve and I’m done
Just as magical as a Child’s Christmas in Wales. First David and I went out with our pal Tim to a fabulous dinner at Stone Park Cafe here in Park Slope. Then a drive to the magical christmas wonderland known as Dyker Heights Brooklyn. Here’s a small sampling of the true meaning of christmas (excess)
Ode to surviving xmas in retail:
There was great rejoicing, and no one did mope The alarm clock was silent, no beep did we hear
“I slept till 10:30!” I said with a cheer There’s knitting to do and movies to see
Chinese Restaurants are where we will be I’ve earned three days off, I’ve worked like a dog
It’s time now to celebrate and write in my blog
I was thinking of spinning and fiber and yarn
when all of a sudden an idea started to dawn
My gifts are abundant, my life is quite rich
So here in my blog is my holiday wish
Don’t take life for granted
Hug your loved ones quite tight
Be thankful for your stash and to all a good night
The shop is open today and tomorrow, but these are my days off.
The best gift I got this season?? An Assistant Manager. The shop is going strong, and it’s time to add some management back up. So all you regulars, come by after the New Year and welcome Kim. I’m really excited about her. She is the rare combination of a knitter with retail management AND food service experience. She’s going to make life and the shop great!
The last week has been full of holiday parties as well (hence me not posting last week). First there was David’s theatre company Brave New World Holiday party. Then the Sit n’ Knit holiday party. That was great! Here’s the little beret I knocked off from left over alpaca, for the holiday gift exchange:
the party was great. 50 knitters, free food, free liquor, knitting gifts raffle, holiday gift exchange . . . what could be bad. I don’t know what the restaurant was expecting when this party was booked, but they weren’t expecting us. They weren’t expecting 50 or so rowdy, drinking knitters.
Here are some party pics:
Winner of my hand knit beret
The short row shaping for the front came out pretty well. Now I just have the sleeves. The construction of the front would also make a pretty nice sleeveless tank. Maybe this summer I’ll play around with that.
– David’s vest (my design) Alpaca from Rhinebeck
– Clapotis (Knitty.com) Silk Nylon from Rhinebeck
– Mr Green Jeans (Knitty.com) Merino hand dyed from Rhinebeck
– Gatsby Girl Pullover (Interweave magazine) Sublime extra fine merino wool dk
– Life Aquatic (Vogue magazine) Manos Silk
– Pullover (Fitted Knits) Art Yarns Superwash Merino
– ???? for my own handspun
Better start knitting!!
I had almost finished the tedious, 13 1/2″ k2, P2 rib of the pin up queen when gift giving made me take a knitting detour. First David asked if I could make a baby gift in a week and a half. I told him no problem. Three days later I knocked out this cute little baby sweater knit up with the luscious SWTC bamboo
I also started to swatch for David’s vest. I’m using 600 yards of alpaca I bought at Rhinebeck held together with Filatura Lanarota Puno Alpaca. I’m writing a pattern (my least favorite thing to do), because I can’t find any pattern I like. Here’s a close up of the cable pattern.
Next . . . it’s time for the Sit n’ Knit holiday party. I finally RSVPed on Sunday, the last day that I could and got the last spot free! Yeah! There’s a holiday exchange, so I’m knitting up a little something from some pale blue Alpaca from my stash (as per the gift exchange rule, stash knitting only!).
Soon I’ll return to my sweater.
The firewood is stacked and being used
I got to spend three whole days with my family this Thanksgiving. It was a MUCH needed break. I’ve been working myself into the ground, and the weekend was the first good night’s sleep I had in months. We left Wednesday at 7:30 am. My brother in law picked us up and we just hung out all day. Except for a brief trip to the grocery store (day before Thanksgiving, wow!), it was just a day to knit, talk and chill.
Thursday was all about cooking and eating. It was a perfect day. A light snow was falling, and while the turkey was cooking we took a walk just long enough to get really cold and need to come back to some hot cider!
I finished all the pieces to David’s sweater in the morning, and now I just had to do the dreaded sewing up the sides of the body and sleeves.
Friday we did our traditional, walking around downtown Ann Arbor looking at all the cute little shops. This, of course, was followed by a dinner full of leftovers. All in all, a perfect visit.
Saturday, David and I left for the airport at 5:00 am. We landed at 8:00 am and we went right to the shop. We got to the shop at 8:45 am, and David stayed with me until 10:00 am. He helped me restock all the shelves, and get ready to open. I then put in an exhausting sales day that went to 7:00 pm. I’ve never been more tired. Today I’m still recovering, gearing up for another trip into the retail world during xmas shopping time. Wish me luck!
The last two weeks have been a blur. I told myself that I would treat the first month of my new job as manager at The Point, like one long tech week (a reference to my old life as a Stage Manager!). I’ve been working 13 hour days, 6 days a week (NOT kidding). I feel like things might be finally settling down. I finished my first store newsletter, I put together my first class & workshop schedule, and I’ve started to get my own systems in place.
The thing that has kept me sane through all the work has been the customers. I can’t believe how many I’ve grown close to in such a short time. It really is the knitting equivalent of Cheers. The regulars walk into a place where “everybody knows your name”. We even had one of our regulars come by with a bottle of Champagne to announce her engagement (sorry I can’t say who until she has time to tell all her friends and family . . . yes, the staff of the Point came after her family, but before some of her friends – LOVE that). We lowered the gates, locked up for the night, cracked out the glasses, and the staff and about a half a dozen regulars toasted the happy news. Despite all the craziness, the stress, the long hours, it really is a special place!
On Sunday I actually left my house to do something other than go to the store! David and went to the Atlantic Antic, welcomed the return of the prodigal daughter (my long lost pal Nell) and went to my friend Michael’s house for a little party. It was so nice to think about something other then work.
I’ll write more later, but now I need to spin and knit!
Goodbye Jersey Boys. Hello The Point. Stay tuned for tales of my first week training at the shop. I’ll be crazy jet lagged with no time to unpack 9 months of stuff, but I’ll be happy. If you live in New York, stop by and say hi!
Back in Italy . . . The next day it was time to set off to explore the rest of the towns. We started by hiking above Monterosso. It gave us a better view of all the tiered farming.
and there were lots of cats (what could be bad)
After sitting on the beach for a good couple of hours, eating focaccia, gelatto, and sampling some wine, it was time to set off on our hike. It seemed like the natural thing to tackle the hardest hike after sitting in the sun, stuffing our faces and getting a little liquored up. It was a tough hike, it took about an hour and a half, and it was VERY climby. Here’s our last peek of the town before we left it behind to hike back to Monterosso
We were pretty damn hot and thirsty when we saw a mirage in the hillside. Right on the trail there was a GENIUS fresh lemonade stand. Right off the tree, just squeeze add water and sugar. At two Euros a glass the guy was racking it in, but what the hell
After a refreshing 4 Euros worth of lemonade, it was time to pause on the trail for some knitting
There were several places on the trails with bowls and big tubs of cat food and signs asking hikers to fill the bowls to feed the unwanted cats. The hike was great, and the town (big surprise) was adorable. We wondered if the quaint old Italian woman hanging out colorful stripped sheets against the peach and yellow walls and the blue sky were hired by the office of tourism. “Okay, here come some Americans . . . hang out your colorful laundry – now”
We spent our last day in Cinque Terre exploring Riomaggiore, and Monarola. The day started looking like rain and turning gorgeous. Another colorful and beautiful harbor
Next stop . . . Venice
I’m typing here on another cold rainy San Francisco day. It’s my day off from Jersey Boys and as I sit here 3000 miles from home, I can’t help thinking about dream jobs. I do realize that for a lot of people (my niece Alana for one) I have a dream job, but everyone has different dreams. I saw my dream job on my TIVO last night. I was watching Shay Pendray’s Needle Arts. I usually end up fast forwarding through most of the needle point and embroidery stuff, but today was a great show. They went to the Koigu studio. We got to see them dye the yarn, make it into skeins, package it, the whole deal. It’s a family run biz, and if there was someplace like that within an hours drive of Brooklyn, I would be calling them right now for a job.
So here’s my question, well two questions really . . .
1) What do all you knitter/blog readers out there do for a living
2) If you could do anything, what WOULD you do for a living.
post your comments, I really want to know what everyone’s dream job would be.
When not daydreaming about playing with yarn all day as a job, I’ve been playing with yarn all day as a hobby. I’m still spinning up that yummy wool, alpaca, mohair I bought on e-bay. Here’s my first spool full:
I ordered a niddy noddy and a “Handy Andy” (a tool for Andean plying). I can’t wait till they arrive.
I’ve also been playing with different textured stitches to see how they felt. I’d like to design a felted purse with textured stitches. Here’s a swatch I made with a bobble and a popcorn stitch.
I used some crappy hand spun so it felted REALLY fuzzy. The popcorn stitch completely flattened out, and the bobbles felted a weird shape. I’ll keep experimenting. I want to design something cool, but not too weird.
Back to my strange two-way sweater. I’m almost finished. That makes it a 7 day sweater. Not sure it was worth 7 days though. I’ll post some pics tomorrow.
So I saw this sweater in last winter’s Vogue and I thought looked intriguing . You are supposed to be able to wear it two ways. One way the neck is a deep V and the bottom is a cropped band (or not so cropped the way I’m going to knit it), or turn it upside down and it’s a cowl neck. What? Can’t visualize it at all, so of course I had to knit it. Unfortunately they only picture it one way, so the magazine doesn’t help. Here’s the v neck way to wear it.
Has anyone out there knit this thing? The schematic and instructions made NO sense. I even cut out the shapes and tried folding them every which way and it still didn’t make sense. (The yellow tabs are post its, I didn’t have any tape in the apartment. One of the many joys of living away from home).
Then I remembered, Vogue is notorious for the need for pattern correction. So, I went on to the web page and found this correction, (pattern #2). So I tried my little arts and crafts project again, and I think I understand it.
I’m still not entirely sure it will work, but I’m giving it a shot. I’m knitting it up in Wool Ease Chunky, a superwash wool I got at Smileys. It’s a natural colored wool with flecks of brown, black and grey in it. I think I like it, but I can’t tell until it’s finished.
On Monday I went to another fab night of bar knitting at Chicks with Sticks. I wore my Tubey sweater so I could get a good picture of it.
I’ve been experiencing a lot of knitting redemption lately. If only life were more like knitting. In knitting when you make a mistake, you can just rip back and start again. . . If a project goes horribly wrong you can frog the whole thing and start again. You can even revisit old projects and fix them using the tricks you’ve picked up since you originally knit them.
Next there was the manly sweater. I knit if for David last winter. I wasn’t so great with finishing back then. Also, my gauge wasn’t so great back then. The arms, being the last thing I knit, were too big for the armholes. They always had a bit of a poof at the shoulder seam (NOT manly). On David’s last visit I took the sleeves out, re blocked the sweater, reattached the sleeves (in a non sucky way this time), and gathered some of the unavoidable fullness under the arm, so there’s no poof. Yeah!
Finally there’s my felted purse. I made it two years ago. I didn’t know about blocking to shape felted items. After finishing my felted tote and blocking it to make a nice flat bottom, I decided to take another look at my old felted purse. Here it is before, dried flat, with a sagging bottom, deeper and narrower then I’d like, with a strap that’s too short
First, I knit a strap extension, felted it, cut the old strap and reattached it to make a longer strap.
Why can’t life be more like knitting. Have a fight with your spouse, rip it back until you didn’t say whatever stupid thing you said. Make a bad work decision, frog it, and start again. Eat a whole box of Kraft macaroni and cheese, resoak your butt and reshape it until its narrower and higher.
I might get a real life second chance soon. I can’t talk about it yet, because it’s not a done deal. When it is, I’ll let you know if I can make life imitate knitting!!
There was some real life second chances at Jersey Boys this week. Chris Jones, our Frankie Valli had a personal day on Wednesday. Our Frankie understudy went on for the first time on Wednesday night. He did great! All in all a fantastic first performance. There were some moments that be improved but there always are. We had no idea when he would get to go one again . . . until we got a call from Chris that his flight had been cancelled. That meant Rick was going on again. It’s so great for an understudy to get to do on twice in a row. He got a second chance and he was even better!!
In other knitting news – TUBEY IS FINISHED (the crowd goes wild). I love it! It took me forever to choose the colors for the stripes, and I’m so happy with what I chose. It’s 100% alpaca that I got it last year’s Smiley’s sale. I made it out of Filatura Lanarota Puno. At $3.00 a skein, that makes a $27.00 sweater. I love when I get a super cute garment for way less then I could buy it at a store. Here’s the colors from the pattern.
I only used 4 colors for the stripes instead of 5. I didn’t like the brown color, so I doubled the eggplant where the pattern called for the brown. I also got a pink instead of the purple and used a more neutral color for the yellow.
Not having David my inhouse photographer is hard!!
David left Monday and it’s back to my same old routine. . . eight shows and 10 hours of rehearsal. Knit, work, knit, sleep, knit, work etc.
Last week David and I left right after the Sunday matinee to drive to Yosemite. We were staying in the lodge in the park. We got in a little before 9:00 pm and had a nice little dinner by a roaring fire in the lodge’s pub. The next day we got up for a fabulous day of hiking in nature’s beauty in hand knit sweaters. What could be better. The morning was crisp and cold, but it warmed up to high 60s by mid day. Here are just a few of the GORGEOUS pics from this winter wonderland.
I highly recommend going there in winter since at times you feel like you have the park all to your selves. There are deer everywhere. This is what greeted us first thing in the morning –
We set off on our first morning walk and crossed a little bridge to this view
I think I’ll make another one on much larger needles. For anyone out there in tvland (I know I know it’s the “blogesphere“, but I hate that word), who have never knit this scarf it’s the world’s easiest pattern:
row 1 – CO 90 stitches
row 2, 4, 6 – inc every stitch by knitting into front & back
row 3, 5, 7 – knit across
Tubey is coming along nicely. Here’s how it’s looking so far
Of course, I have to take my computer to the mac doctor, so it may be a few days from now
I’m sitting in the Mezzannine lobby with the Four Seasons doing a little dance brush up. I’m taking the opportunity to get in a quick blog post before my hubby arrives and I won’t be near the computer for the next ten days.
Today we had another put in rehearsal for the second wave of understudies for Jersey Boys . It was also a put in rehearsal for our new ASM to call the show. She did a great job. Especially considering it’s her first professional calling job. She calls the show tonight. It’s really kind of exciting being around to watch someones very first ever professional calling job. I’m sure she will be great.
The creative team was back in town casting for the next tour, so they were all here for the understudy put in. I will so miss our asst choreographer when he leaves. It’s been great having him around.
David gets in tonight and we are going to Yosemite on Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon. I can’t wait . . . look forward to lots of pictures being posted.
In knitting world, Tubey is coming along. I’m so tired of my sweater sleeves ending up either too short or too long, that I decided to keep both sleeve’s stitches live. I tried it on . . .
and one sleeve felt tighter then the other (of course). The way this is knit is with a crochet cast on, then knit one sleeve, remove the cast on and start knitting down the other side. I always loosen up as I knit. That’s why I prefer sweaters that are knit in the round. That way you avoid the, back is smaller then the front, sweater syndrome. I decided to block the sleeves to try to even out the width. I’m blocking them before I attach them to the body, because it will ultimately affect the length of the sleeve.
Here it is drying on my sad little make shift blocking board (ironing board). I must buy a blocking board one of these days.
Last night the company of Legally Blonde invited the company of Jersey Boys to see their Sunday night show. They’re in San Francisco doing their pre Broadway tryout. It’s was the only performance on their schedule that didn’t overlap with ours, so we were so glad to be able to see the show. It’s in great shape and was a lot of fun. They’ve gone 13 days without a day off, so they had reserved a bunch of tables at the Clift bar to relax and unwind. It’s funny, back at home it was exactly the kind of night I’d usually pass on. I’d always rather go home and knit in front of my fireplace then hang out in a bar with a bunch of Broadway show folk. . . but, since I’m so homesick, it felt so nice to hang out with everyone from New York.
Between shows on Saturday I felted my bag. We only have a front loading washing machine at the Steinhart, so unless I wanted to cause a small flood, that would not work. Luckily they have top loading washing machines at the theatre. Here’s the finished product. It’s a little larger than I’d like, but it’s still pretty nice.
The bag had 40 stitches for front and back and 20 stitches on the sides.
Working from the beginning of the round, I bound off four stitches, then kept 10 stitches on a stitch holder, bound off 16 stitches for the front middle, put 10 stitches on a stitch holder, bound off 24 stitches, put 10 stitches on a stitch holder, bound of 16 stitches, put 10 on a stitch holder, and then bound off the last 20 stitches.
Starting on the RS, I added a ball of yarn and knit the following:
row 1 (RS) – SSK, K6, K 2 tog
row 2 (WS) – P 8
row 3 (RS) – SSK, K4, K2 tog
row 4 (WS) – P 6
Knit 6 stitch 1 cord for 20 “
put 6 stitches on stitch holder
Repeat for the left side of the strap. Using the kitchener stitch, graft two halves of straps together. Repeat for the other side of the bag.
After my triumphant cast off of the winterwonderland sweater it was time to get back to something a little less successful . . . spinning. I had two spindles of single ply that I had spun back in New York, but never plied. I was going to try to keep the natural color a single ply since it was kind of spun thickly (not on purpose, I just still kind of suck at spinning). I asked one of the spinners at Chicks with Sticks and she told me that I should soak the ply and then kind of whip it against the side of the tub (like snapping a towel) to let the twist shift down from the over twisted parts to the under twisted parts. That did NOT work out well for me. It’s really over twisted, so what I got was a horrible twisted mess.
Here it is wet
It’s only about 55 yards. I don’t really know what to do with it. I also plied my more successful purple roving that my pal Francesca got for me from Rhinebeck. That’s about 45 yards. I suppose I could do something using them both. Maybe gloves with the purple used as edging.
Any ideas? Any patterns?
Come on knitting readers help me out with what I could do with 55 yards of natural wool and 45 yards of dyed wool mohair.
Here is the beautiful purple, blue wool, mohair
I bought 4 oz of the “almost solid” series from Spunky Eclectic. I got a kind of purple mix that I thought would go well with the stuff I already spun. Maybe I can figure out something to do with them together.
In the world of knitting, I cast on two new projects. One fast (yeah US 15 needles) and one that will take forever (boo US 6 needles). For the instant gratification project, I’m knitting up a wool market bag for felting. I’m used to felted objects being large, but this is HUGE. I’m just finishing up the straps, and it is the size of my love seat. Hopefully it will felt down to a nice size. I’ll post a finished pic next time.
I LOVE my sweater. Not only is it my favorite thing I’ve ever knit. It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever owned. I re knit it on US 13 (instead of US 15) and added shaping to the side. Here’s the result.
Digging into my basket of yummy colors, I’m using the turquoise, gold and dark purple for the market bag
In the land of Jersey Boys, it’s been a pretty good week. Last week we went to the Tonga Room
for drinks after the show. It’s a delightfully tacky bar in the Fairmount Hotel. It’s a tiki lounge extraordinaire!
This week at work was a special treat. Our asst. choreographer was here, so we went back to a rehearsal studio with the understudies for 3 shows. For me it’s a nice break from the usual routine. I called three shows, was on the deck for one show, was in the office for one show, and the rehearsal studio for three shows. A perfect week.
In eight days I’ve frogged an entire sweater, soaked the yarn, hung it out to dry to reset the twist, re-balled the yarn, rewrote the pattern, and re-knit the entire pattern. Now it’s three days later, and I’ve managed to sew the sleeves into the shoulder, and sew up 1/2 of one side. Why does it take me so damn long to sew the sweater pieces together. Oh, I remember . . . I HATE SEWING! I loves me some neck down, three needle bind off, pick up stitches . . . ANY technique that means I don’t have to sew. I’m trying really hard to master the mattress stitch. I’m doing much better this time at actually making it an invisible seam
I’m so much happier with the sweater now. Here’s it blocking in my apartment. Sweater on floor, sleeves on the ironing board
It was only when I was blocking both the scarf and the sweater at the same time did I notice a certain beigeness to my knitting of late. The next two projects I’m casting on are going to be all about COLOR! I’m doing the Knit – Picks market bag, and Knitty.com’s tubey
I’ve also discovered yarn as a decorating element. Being away from home, hearth and hubby (the list is NOT in order of importance), means knitting is the thing that’s kept me sane. Baskets of yarn are like little cozy reminders of home.
It’s been a full week. . . work, fun, and knitting.
At work, we had our new asst. Stage Manager join us. I had to get her trained in on the deck (backstage) which meant stepping away from the calling desk for five days. For the non theatre folks out there “calling” is when the stage manager sits at a desk backstage in front of various monitors which show different views of the stage. There is always a front view in color, front view in infra red (to allow us to see in the dark), and a conductor view. Then each show has whatever other view that show needs. In our case we have an overhead view of the lift (to make sure we don’t drop anyone in a hole in the stage), and an overhead view of the upstage area (to see when the moving units are clear of the fences we fly in). “Calling cues” is telling the operators of the lights, flying scenery, and automated scenery when to execute their cues. We do this either verbally or by turning on and off colored lights.
Since I had only called the show three times before leaving it for five days, I barely remembered what the show looked like (well not really, but it wasn’t cozy). By the end of this week it felt comfy again.
On Monday Richard (one of the other stage managers) and I went to Monterey. It was a PERFECT day! We got to the harbor and looked around for a bit and had lunch.
After lunch we headed to our whale watch boat. After saying hello to the dogs of the boat, we got on and settled in for the ride.
Next we headed for the Aquarium. It was in Cannery Row (of Steinbeck novel fame). Richard was disappointed that it wasn’t more museum-y and less tee shirt store – y. The aquarium was really cool. Our favorite part was the jellys. Here’s a few cool shots.
The only drag of a perfect day was we didn’t get back in time to get me to my knitting bar. I’m going tomorrow though. Can’t wait!
This may sound a little crazy, but I ‘m SOOOO grateful that I knit. Being on the Jersey Boys tour is great, but I’ve never been away from home this long. I feel like my knitting is litterly keeping me sane. I look forward to days like this (my day off) which is spent primarily knitting.
This week I made a lot of progress in my knitting life. I finished the red scarf for the red scarf project. Here’s Richard posing in the scarf (with the goofiest smile I’ve ever seen!). Here’s a more detailed shot.
I cast on a new cable scarf from the alpaca I bought at the New Jersey Sheep & Wool Festival. I’ll add those pictures in the next post.
Last Sunday I ripped the whole thing out. I measured myself, and redesigned the sweater and started again. I’ve now finished the entire back and 3/4 of the front. Here’s the old sweater versus a picture of the 3/4 of the back of the new sweater. As you can see I added some shaping to the side.
To check the fit, I pinned it to a tee shirt so I could try it on. Here’s me wearing the old sweater and the unfinished new one.
In addition to adding shaping, I re-figured the gauge and knit it up on US 13 this time, instead of US 15. I think I’ll be much happier with it now. I’m sure I’ll finish it tomorrow, so I’ll post some finished photos later.
So, I promised more knitting content in the next post, I just didn’t think it would be tragic knitting content.
When I got on a plane headed for San Francisco back in late November, I cast on for a new sweater. It was a chunky turtle neck shown here. I finished the front back, the turtle neck and 3/4 of the sleeves. I knit the small size, AND I made it two inches narrower and 2 inches shorter than the pattern.
It was still HUGE on me. I will never learn. I just think somehow it will work out and make sense when I finish it. I should always measure myself and costumize the pattern for myself. I should have learned from the muppet sweater affair (when I ripped out the whole front & back when I discovered it was huge & shapeless). Here’s me in the shapeless wonder:
I knew I would never wear it, so . . . even though it was a lot of work, it was time to do the dreaded frogging. It being a fuzzy wool alpaca blend, it was only slightly less a pain in the ass to rip out then mohair. Then when I tried to reknit a gauge sample it was just too kinky.
Back in Jersey Boys land . . . I started calling the show this weekend. It went pretty well. I made a little boo boo on my second show, but nothing an audience would notice. Today’s show was a little rough, but it was not my fault. We had some automation problems with the scenery. I’m glad it was on my 3rd show calling instead of my first.
I finally finished my red scarf project scarf. I’ll photo that
Next I’ve cast on a cable scarf for David from a skein of Alpaca that I bought at the New Jersey Sheep & Wool Festival last summer. . . and of course, I’ll recast on the chunky cable sweater.
Tomorrow I’m going to Monterey with Richard from the show. We are going on a Whale watch and to the aquarium.
Tomorrow night I’ll head to Chicks with Sticks for some quality knitting time. More later.
Today’s post is going to be light on knitting content, and heavy on life (catch up) content. My life will be back to . . . all about knitting, as soon as possible.
It’s been a crazy two weeks. First I had to survive the holiday rush of extra performances and extra rehearsals, then I moved to a new apartment, then my husband David came to visit for a week.
First the apartment . . . I’m SOOOO much happier at the new apartment. It’s called the Steinhart. It’s an old hotel that was converted into apartments. The lobby is gorgeous
and my apartment is really cool. It has a Murphy bed in the living room, so I could even have guests (yeah)
I’ll add pictures of my apartment on my next post.
We’ve been having a ton of understudy rehearsals. This Friday will be a put in rehearsal for the first batch of understudies. It will also be my put in rehearsal for calling the show. That’s a real treat, because normally when you learn to call a show you are just shoved in front of a paying audience, no rehearsal!
David’s visit was fab! The best part was our trip to Napa on Dec. 24th – 26th. David booked a great spa/inn for us called The Milliken Inn/Spa. It was right on a creek and the grounds were really pretty
We went to two great restaurants on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We visited some wineries on the 24th and the 26th. Since most places were closed on Christmas day we brought up some DVDs and watched movies in the room and then went for a drive and had lunch at fancy hotel famous for their view
here’s the view:
As for the rest of the week, it was all two show days and understudy rehearsals. David and I managed to squeeze in a few moments of fun. Had an amazing brunch at Dotties (thanks Francesca), and a walk through North Beach, and a walk up (gasp) Russian Hill
and a little strolling on Union Street (where David made a friend)
For New Years Eve, we had a 7:30 pm show and then the producers booked us a room at a rearby restaurant. It was pretty fun especially once the dancing started. I’ll end with a few of my New Year’s pics. More knitting news next time – I promise:
Well, it’s almost 10:00 pm on Monday, and I’m finally settling in for some TV and blogging. I didn’t make it to Chicks with Sticks tonight, but I’ll be back after the holidays. Today was just too filled with chores, and the whole day got away.
Last week at Jersey Boys was a nine show week and two understudy rehearsals. That equals . . . working in the theatre Tuesday night, and all day and night Wed – Sunday. Ugh. One great thing that broke up the week and woke us all up was Jarod Spector, our second Frankie, going on for the first time. He was terrific. It was really exciting to see. It’s so great to have two actors playing Frankie who each bring such wonderful qualities to the role. I think everyone should see the show twice, but that’s just me.
Today was all about paying bills, updating my calling script, answering e-mails, booking airfare (coming home in March for 3 days – YEAH), and packing. I’m moving into a new apartment on Wednesday. I’m VERY excited for a change of scene, but packing up all my stuff again is a drag. God I’ve brought a ton of clothes I’ve yet to wear . . . and then there’s all my yarn.
As for knitting, making some good progress on my winterwonderland sweater. I’m on the sleeves now. My camera is already packed, so I’ll post a picture next time I blog.
Here are some pics from last weeks Chicks with Sticks.
close up of super cool wash clothes:
As for me, looking forward to a week long visit from David (yeah!) on Friday. We get two and a half days off for Christmas, so we are heading to Napa. . . some wine tasting, some spa action, some movies and some NOT being in the theatre. I’m also hoping that we’ll spend some mornings exploring a bit of San Fran. I’ve barely left me apartment and the theatre for nearly a month!
I woke up today at 1:00 pm (for the third time). Last night was the opening night of the Jersey Boys tour in San Francisco. I got home from the opening night party a little after midnight, and was sound asleep by 1:00 am, but then I was wide awake by 3:00 am, back asleep by 4:30 am, then awake by 9:30 am. I had to wake up so I could have coffee with my fabulous General Manager and say goodbye. I hung out with Sally until 11:00am, when she left for the airport, and then I went right back to sleep until 1:00 pm. My sleep schedule is going to be SOOO screwed up.
Last night was fun. The show went pretty well, and the crowd went nuts when the original surviving Four Seasons (Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio, and their producer Bob Crewe) went out for the curtain call. The party was nice. It was in a great space and the food was pretty swell
(balcony of party venue)
(Melissa Strom, Jackie Seiden, me, Jennifer Evans, and 1/2 of Sandy DeNise)
Only one problem. After I finished the first few cable repeats on the back, I noticed something was wrong. It didn’t look like the picture. I was pretty sure the chart was wrong and it indicated all knit for the bottom instead of pearl inside the cable. I went online to look for Vogue corrections, and sure enough . . . damn pattern #8 correction to cable chart. I was too lazy to frog, so I figured, what the hell, it’s the back. I’ll do it right for the front. Here’s the result of the wrong pattern:
Last week’s Chicks With Sticks group was a blast. I’m heading back tonight. I will probably be the first time I get out of bed today!
It’s finally here. We think about it, we dream about it, we imagine what it will feel like when it comes, we wonder if it will be as wonderful as we’d hoped. I’m speaking of course, of the day off.
It’s been 10 days in a row of 12 – 14 hour days in the theatre. We’ve had a few bumps along the way. Everything was going pretty smoothly until our invited dress rehearsal. That’s the performance you do before your first paid performance. In the afternoon before the dress we were having problems with our lift. That’s the elevator that rides scenery and (at the end) the Jersey Boys themselves up from the basement to appear onstage. We got that fixed and felt okay going into the evening invited dress. Before we started our director Des McAnuff got up and gave the typical speech “we may have to stop, blah, blah”. Well about 10 minutes into the show we heard a very load noise, and then – we stopped the show. One of our drum turtles fouled. What the hell is a drum turtle you may ask? A turtle is any piece of automated scenery that both tracks and spins. We have two platforms that the drummers ride on that track and spin (hence the name drum turtle). Well, the plexi that covers the lights on the stage got overheated from hours of tech, curled a bit, got caught on the scenery, caused it to jump the track and ultimately to get stuck. It took 20 minutes, 4 carpenters, 3 prop men, 2 sound women to get it fixed. Once we started again the crowd was great. It did mean that our b-roll shoot (video shot of the show used for press purposes) had to go until 1:00 am.
So now we’ve finished our first weekend of previews. After that first night of glitches, things have been going pretty well. The audiences are mad for this show. After our first preview we had a note session with the actors that lasted until midnight. You can imagine our shock when we left the theatre to find people STILL waiting at the stage door for autographs. Wow.
In the world of knitting, I’ve managed to make some progress in my cable scarf. I usually go home to have dinner and get a few rows done. Tonight I’m going to go to my first Chicks with Sticks meeting. I’m looking forward to meeting some San Francisco knitters. I’ll let you know how I like it.
It is day seven here in Jersey Boys techland. We have gone three days of our ten days straight. Seven more days before our next day off!! We’ve teched all the way to the finale. Pretty darn good for 6 days!! Today is the first day that I got to sleep in. I don’t have to be in the theatre until noon (yeah!). The average day has been 10:00 am – midnight.
The theatre staff is great, and tech has gone pretty smoothly. Here’s our fab prop crew standing in tiny, cozy, cramped stage left:
Stage left is very small, and we have no crossover (an onstage path from stage right to stage left). Sometimes we have a blackout drop in that allows for an onstage crossover, but the dreaded words here at tech (especially when it comes time for a quick costume change) are “you have to take the basement crossover”. Here’s a picture of our lovely basement cross:
It is where you will find actors running at top speed to get from one side of the stage to the other. It is also the access to our elevator lift. The lift that carries up all the mics, some of our furniture, and of course the Four Seasons in the final number.
The offices are also in the basement. Ours is a room just large enough for our two road boxes, and a small table. That’s one of the other Stage Managers, Tripp, sitting in our tiny space. Note the talking Crusty the Clown doll. He goes everywhere with me. My pal Tom gave Crusty to me, and my fellow SM Tripp ADORES it!
The road boxes are kind of instant offices. Just open em up, pull up a chair, and you’re good to go.
The dressing rooms are on the two levels above the stage. They’re small, but there’s a lot of them. Here’s one of our ladies, Melissa Strom, in her room:
Here’s the men’s floor. The hallway is so tight that when two doors are open at once, they hit. Here are the men of Jersey Boys lured out of their rooms to say hi.
As in most theatres it doesn’t take long to find the other knitters. I found out last night that our hair supervisor is an expert knitter. One of our actresses, Sandy DeNise is a big crocheter. Here’s Sandy fresh from the hair room, half nurse, half Sandy:
Erich Bergen, one of our Four Seasons, mother is a huge knitter & crafter. She has her own podcast. I think it’s called CraftCast.
We’ve finished our first three days of tech on Jersey Boys here in San Fran. All in all things are going pretty well. We are slightly ahead of schedule. The local crew at the Curran are FANTASTIC, some of the best I’ve ever worked with. We got up to the Sherry/Big Girls/Walk Like a Man sequence. For those of you who know the show, it’s a huge tech section of the show, so it was the perfect place to stop before our day off. It is NOT something you want to be teching at 10:30 pm. It is the perfect place to start after a day off.
The producers are treating us to a Thanksgiving lunch today at some restaurant. It will be over by 3:00 pm, then we will still have our evening off. Then comes our 10 days without a day off (yikes!).
My trunk (full of yarn) arrived a couple of days ago, and I am finally all unpacked at my little apartment. We’re staying at the Oakwood apartments. Here’s my room, half way through unpacking (thank god for those space saver bags!!).
My knitting life has been restricted to the six hours on the plane. I cast on for a new sweater on the plane. It’s a big, soft, chunky sweater from last winters Vogue.
I cast on with my e-bay purchase of Rowan Polar (why oh why was this delicious yarn discontinued???) It’s a soft and yummy blend of Wool & Alpaca. Here’s what I got done on the plane. Some of the time was spent sleeping and working, so I didn’t get a ton done.
Now it’s time to get a little more work done before Thanksgiving lunch. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their friends and family. It will be a while before I will be able to post again. See you all after we open!
in Park Slope Brooklyn (really)
So, my bags are packed, my friends are coming over in 15 minutes for my goodbye dinner, the car picks me up at 9:15 am tomorrow, and then . . . it’s “San Francisco here I come”.
I have to pack my cable scarf project, because I don’t think they allow cable needles on the plane. I’m casting on a big chunky sweater out of vogue magazine. I’ll photo it later.
Today we took our last walk in Prospect Park (sob).
okay, my friends are at the door. More later.
It’s almost here. The time to leave for god knows how long. I leave a week from today – oy.
Last week we had a little goodbye party at one of our fave local restaurants, Long Tan. It was a mellow, nice evening with a couple dozen friends. Thanks to all who braved the subway to get to Brooklyn. A big shout out to my pal Beth Leavel (Tony winner for Drowsy Chaperone – can’t help it, I’m so proud) who came out to Brooklyn for the FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE . . . girl, ya gotta get out more.
Today I’ve been on the computer doing show paperwork from 9:00 – 1:30 pm. Now it’s time for a quick post, and to start to pack the trunk.
I started to set out all the yarn I was going to take, and I realized it would fill my whole damn trunk. Ah, the Stage Manager’s hamper is the way to go. Thanks to a giant tote that I got when working at Lincoln Center, I managed to cram 4 or 5 future projects in one place. Thank goodness for 5 tour hampers!
I finished spinning the roving my pal Francesca brought me back from Rhinebeck. It’s gorgeous! I’d love to leave it a single ply, but I don’t know how spinners get all the twist out if they don’t ply it. Any suggestions all you spindle guys and gals???
This will mean more to New Yorkers. . . Knitting on the subway.
We’ve all seen them, we’ve all sat next to them, or tried. The people on the subway, usually men, sometimes women, who just take up more space than they should. On the newer subway trains, the bench between the door and the post seats three, normal human buttocks. Usually when I see those men that sit with their legs spread wide open trying to take up two seats, I say “excuse me”, take my seat next to them, force their legs closed with mine and enjoy my rightful seat on the subway. Today there was a woman who decided, in rush hour, to take up two spaces. I said “excuse me”, she moved two inches, I squoze between her sizable self and the post. There was still 4 or 5 inches to her other side, which she chose to keep open. I took out my knitting, and in the normal action of knitting, knocked her arm (that was hanging directly over me), with every stitch. She said “why you knocking into my arm, do you have to do that?” I replied with a smile that would melt butter “no I don’t, you’re free to move over the 5 inches to your right”. A few more stitches and she started to slowly inch to the right. By the end of the row, she was taking up the space of one large person.
Tonight we ended rehearsal early so our director, Des McAnuff could attend the dedication of his cartoon at Sardi’s. I opted out of going so I could get a little work done. Now it is 8:15 pm and I am stopping work for the night YEAH!!!! I’m going to do a little spinning, knitting, watch some TV and try to spend the night not thinking about Jersey Boys.
We got our trunks delivered today. I could fill the whole thing with the yarn I need to take for my upcoming projects. Thank god that Stage Manager’s also get a touring hamper and a road box. Knitters do not travel light!
At the end of my second week of rehearsal for Jersey Boys, I’ve barely had time to knit (or sleep or eat). For those of you who have never had the joy (and I mean that both genuinely and sarcastically at the same time!) of working on a Broadway show or National Tour . . . it is 15 hours a day, 6 days a week. Today is my day off. It’s 3:30 pm and I’m finally sitting down to do something other than work.
The subway is my time to knit. If I time it just right, I skip the 8:17 train (packed) and take the 8:20 am 2/3 subway line from beautiful Brooklyn to Terrible Times Square. I can usually get a seat, and get at least a few rows in. The ride home is usually reserved for a 20 minute subway nap (the BEST) before arriving home and hitting the computer to work on the show.
I’ve made some progress on my Spring Fling:
Just need to finish up the sleeves. I work on that on the subway, because I can do the lace pattern from memory. The cable scarf for the Red Scarf project is coming along a bit slower. I still need to refer to the cable chart, because it’s my first cable job.
The other thing I finally had time to do today was work a bit in the garden. It was time to take in the last of the vegs. What cracks me up about our late season vegetables is the scale. They are either too small . . . the ones that started to grow last, and will not have time to finish growing before the frost, or HUGE. There were beans that I missed when harvesting the last batch, and then the GIANT potato I dug up after getting rid of the sweet potato vines.
Tiny eggplants and tiny beets:
Crazy huge green beans and sweet potato:
Right now my life feels like those vegtables, totally out of scale. Too much work, not enough – anything else. I’m living for 5 weeks from now. Then the show will be opened, I’ll be settled in in San Francisco, and knitting again. One of the cast members knits, and there are two other women who are anxious to learn. We’re all going to go to Chicks with Stix, a Monday night knitting group that meets up in a bar – brilliant!
Well, I’m still trying to get over missing Rhinebeck last weekend. It was my niece’s bat mitzvah, and our family reunion.
It was a crazy deja vu experience going to a bat mitzvah. Watching 13 year olds trying not to look like they care about dancing with eachother. The most bizarre thing was the music they played. Sure there was some modern stuff, but most of it was the same music I danced to nearly 30 years ago! That would be like me dancing to the Andrew Sisters at the bat mitzvahs of the 70’s! Here’s the kids doing (I kid you not) the Electric Slide!
I did get a little knitting done on the plane, and gave away a few knitted gifts. Here’s my adorable niece Rachel with her new scarf. About three minutes after this photo was taken, it was dipped in ice cream and then dropped on the floor (the scarf, not the photo).
Right now I’m up to my ass in Jersey Boys. We started rehearsals on Monday and it’s a big show. It looks like a small show until you look a little closer, and then holy ^&*@#$ there’s a lot of props, costumes, shifts, a lotta everything.
Tonight I’m taking my last night to light a fire, blog, and do a little spinning on my (trumpet sound here) new Golding Ring Spindle . . . YEAH. My pal Francesca bought it for me at Rhinebeck. Isn’t she a beaut!
It’s begun, or ended. Those lazy days of summer knitting are over. I’ve been crazy busy lately, and it’s just going to get worse. Last week I spent a whole day at Jersey Boys starting to learn the show as best I can before we go into rehearsal on Monday. I watched it from out front during the matinee, and then from the calling desk in the evening (that’s a busy call!). We went to the Berkshires for the weekend (more about what happened on that weekend in a later post – I’ll explain later). The colors were just a bit past peak, but still GORGEOUS! Here’s a few pics from the trip.
(Pleasant Valley Wildlife Preserve)
We stayed in a great B & B called the Rookwood. Really pretty, great breakfast. We had a fab room with a woodburing fireplace and a little porch.
(our cute little porch)
On the knitting front, it’s been slow going. Last week I ran out of yarn on the Red Scarf Project scarf. I went to Smileys, where I was pretty sure I got the yarn from, but I couldn’t find a match. UGGGGG! It’s my first cable scarf, so I had no idea how much damn yarn it takes. I bought more yarn, and started again. I cast off my tiny 48″ scarf for David (you can still wear it around your neck, just can’t really wrap it all the way around).
and then cast on again:
As for the Spring Fling, I’ve made some headway on that. Much knitting done in the car, not much anywhere else.
The pattern has you casting off the back, and the two front sections, and then sewing them together. Screw that! Three needle bind off is the name of the game baby!
Today is my last day to get things done (like blog). I have tons of fall work in the garden today, dig up and divide the Iris’ plant the Poppies, new Iris bulbs, cut down the Lillies, dig up the Petunias, and put in the Crocus bulbs. All this fall work, and I won’t even be here in the spring to enjoy it. I’m going to be dependant on David to send me photos. What a drag.
David and I spent the holiday weekend in Boston visiting his family. Since I’m heading off on the national tour, and I’ll be gone god knows how long . . . we thought we should get a visit in. We didn’t get in until Midnight on Friday and we crashed with our pal David. Saturday we hung out with David’s folks. David’s mom is a big knitter. She makes blankets for foster kids from squares knit up (or crocheted, I’m not sure which) by lots of folks. Because of this, people are constantly giving her yarn. At a certain point she just gets full up and that’s where I come in. In the past I’ve scored with full cones of mohair, wool, balls of novelty yarn, trim, you name it. People have also started dropping off their unfinished projects to her. You can’t believe how far people get in their sweaters before bailing. She usually finishes the sweaters and returns then to their owner. I keep telling her she could go into business. This time someone dropped off a sweater and said she didn’t want it back. This thing was almost finished, except for one problem . . . it was hideous. It was red and white stripes on the bottom, then the body was white with anchors in red yarn. It had big 80s poofy sleeves, and was completely unwearable. We made the only sane decision . . . FROG.
Here’s the stash:
Amongst the other random bits were some Sheltand Wool in green and tan, some ribbon yarn
I’m open to any ideas for what to do with this stuff.
Sunday night we went Candlepin Bowling. What the heck is that you may be wondering? If you’re not from Massachusetts, Maine, Ohio, New Hampshire, or parts of Canada (and I’m not) you’ve probably never seen anything this weird. The pins are little skinny pins. They don’t get fat at the bottom like normal bowling pins. The balls are small wooden balls with no holes. You just hold it in the palm of your hand and roll it as fast as you can. You get three balls, and the pins you knock down, or “dead wood”, does not get cleared away between balls. Part of the strategy is hitting the pins that are already knocked down so that they’ll knock other pins down. It is possible to get a gutter ball, yet have the ball hit a pin in the gutter and knock others pins down. It was crazy, but the bar served a bitchin’ apple cider martini, with cinnamon and sugar, so I didn’t really care how badly I sucked.
I’ve been feeling rather reflective the last few days. Maybe it’s the season, maybe it’s getting ready to go back to work. These wonderful days of relaxing in our garden, knitting, spinning, enjoying Brooklyn are all about to come to an end. I spent the day in the garden on Wednesday. It was time to start the fall garden chores. Between early October and late November we have to dig up various bulbs and tubers to store for the winter, divide and replant others, spray the roses, and fruit tree . . . put our garden to sleep for the winter, and hope it wakes up in the spring. It’s always a bit of an exercise in faith. You do the best you can, but ultimately it’s always a crap shoot. There’s no way to tell what spring will bring.
(Huge clump of Peony root, to be divided and replanted)
That evening I went over to Alexandra’s house to do a little spinning. I had a blast. She started pulling out bag after bag of wool, alpaca, whole fleeces, top, roving. I was literally surrounded by fiber. She had a huge basket of yarn, some store bought, some she had spun herself, some so soft you wanted to roll around in it. Then she cracked out the Babe. A crazy wheel made from PVC pipe and a wheelchair wheel. It looks like ass, but it spins great! I had my sad little CD spindle and was once again trying my hand at spinning. Alexandra took out a huge ball of top roving and told me to pull off a section. I was pulling like crazy and it would not break. She said I was pulling too hard. That if I loosened my grip and tugged gently, the fibers would slide apart and the piece would give. That’s why I was having trouble with my drafting. I was pulling too hard, and the fibers wouldn’t give.
So I’m off to a new job, in a new city. I have know idea what to expect or where my life is heading next.
Maybe I’ll try loosening my grip and see what gives.
Yesterday was Yom Kippur. Although I did fast, I decided this year to skip Shul in favor of knitting. Brenda Dayne often talks about the church of knitting (for nice Jewish girl, Brooklyn Knit Chick, it is the Shul of Knitting). I decided it be nice to spend the entire day working on a something for someone else. Late last night (long after both sundown and fasting had passed) I cast off and blocked the scarf for my brother in law Colin. Here it is posing in my garden. It wasn’t an easy fast this year, and I got pretty woozy by late afternoon, so a simple scarf pattern was all I could manage.
I decided a good way to make a contribution to the world (in my own little crafty way) was to get more involved with charity knitting. If anyone has their favorite pet project, I’d love to hear about it.
I cast on today for the Red Scarf Project. I’m pretty pleased with how it’s looking so far. I’m going with a machine washable wool/acrylic blend. I figured machine washable would be important if it fell into the hands of a sloppy college age boy!
All this knitting for others has made my Spring Fling sweater slow down to a crawl. Here’s all the progress I managed to make in that:
Today I was sitting up on the roof deck, enjoying the freaky 78 degree day, listening to old Cast On episodes. We all know about charity knitting, but did you know about protest knitting? Neither did I. There’s a web site called Steal This Sweater (that name will not be lost on Abbie Hoffman fans). On the site are all sorts of machine knit sweaters with various political statements on them. There are also the Body Count mittens.
Here’s the text from the web site:
The Body Count Mittens
These mittens memorialize the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq at the time the mittens are made. Since the numbers escalate daily, each mitten has a different number and date. Seen together, the pair of mittens show a span of time and the increase in killed soldiers over that time. I began these mittens on March 23, 2005, when 1524 American soldiers had been killed in Iraq. After finishing the first mitten, I began work on the second mitten one week later, on March 31, 2005. The number of American troops killed in Iraq had risen to 1533 by then. This was a great project to knit in public, and I look forward to wearing them somewhere cold soon.
I got an e-mail from the very talented Marnie MacLean to find out what the problem was in the Evening Tank (that I had wrote about in “Summer Knitting had me a blast”). I must say I felt overcome with guilt for complaining about something offered out of the kindness and generosity that is so, wonderfully, present in the knitting community. I e-mailed her the math problems I found, but also the following:
. . . and, my apologies for not searching the internet for your e-mail address. I realize now that was a somewhat ungrateful and rude thing. I posted an apology on my blog comments as well. When I thought about the selflessness of people who post patterns for free (that I use all the time) I was somewhat ashamed when I re-read my post and saw how ungrateful it sounded. thank you for your work, and for sharing it with others.
So here’s a big shout out to all those kind and talented folks who offer up their designs and ask for nothing in return. If you find a mistake, instead of bitching about it in your blog (as I did), seek out the designer’s e-mail and respectfully submit your corrections.
I did poke around Marnie’s blog and found some great spinning tips! More about that later.
Here’s my brother-in-law’s scarf. It’s coming along nicely. The greens are flecked with all sorts of pretty reds, yellows, purples, and oranges. None of which he’ll see. He’s color blind. That pretty much sucks.
I’m suffering from Castonitis (cast-on-eye-tis). Although it’s not fatal, there is no pain, no itch, you might risk running out of needles. I’ve had a few happy cast offs this week, and then proceeded to go a little nuts with the casting on. I was SOOOOO thrilled to finally cast OFF the dreaded braided scarf (happy now Zeena?)
and last but not least. . . I finished the Sarah Tank. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. The pattern was only written for M-L, so I just messed around with the gauge a bit until I was happy with the smaller sizing. I made it from the really dreamy Debbie Bliss cotton angora.
That’s when the casting on madness began. Fist of all, I had wanted to get rid of the rest of the Filatura Lanarota Summer Soft I bought during the Smiley’s summer sale. I bought a bag of ten and only used two for the ballet t-shirt. I decided to cast on, what was probably going to be my last summer weight garment for a while, the Spring Fling.
Then the madness started. I found out I’m going to go out with the Jersey Boys national tour. We start rehearsal in late October, and I’ll be hitting the road on November 20th. This means, once again, no Thanksgiving with my family. I had promised my brother in law and my niece that I would bring them scarves for Thanksgiving. Now I have to finish the scarves before I see them in mid October. So I cast on a tweedy green garter slip stitch scarf for Colin
and a crazy novelty yarn (Fiona Feza) scarf for my niece Rachel.
I’m in a bit of a panic thinking about packing for a tour. I feel like my knitting stuff is going to take a whole trunk. Thank god my union sets our luggage limit based on weight, and after all, yarn doesn’t weigh that much!
So here I sit feeling pretty good about my crafting ability. I’m making a hat out of the wool I spun and dyed myself.
I’m having a dilettante moment. (For my favorite musical definition of dilettante, check out my rockin’ pal Nell Balaban’s song. Just click on her name, and click on Dilettante on her site). A dilettante moment, we’ve all had them–usually after meeting someone who’s a real artist. Someone who does more than follow a pattern. Someone who, at the risk of sounding both trite and queer at the same time, follows her heart. I recently came across not one, but two such examples of our craft at its most impressive.
First was Christina O. She was the woman who taught me how to make my cardboard box Tensioned Lazy Kate (by the way, here are links to other people’s homemade lazy Kates: Stuck on Socks, and Keyboard Biologist). I met her at last week’s Sit n’ Knit NY. She (wait for it) felted her own wedding dress. WHAT? Now that may seem like some crazy heavy, smelly-when-wet, dress, but NO. It looked lighter than air. Here’s the description of the process from her blog:
The bodice is almost finished and I started on the petals for the skirt. This is really exciting. I love my electric sander. It really makes life easy. So here’s how I’m doing it. First, I cut the gauze in a petal shape. There are three sizes, as the skirt is longer in the back than the front, and I wanted to keep the number of rows the same. That means the petals in the back will be in a triangle shape with the larger ones in the middle, and then graduated sizes to the outside. After the gauze is cut, a petal is laid on the counter, wet down with soap/water spray, and the wool is laid on top. Once the areas are filled in, wet muslin is put on top of that, and I lightly sand it-a few seconds for each area. I flip the fabric over, and now the felt is stuck a little to the muslin. I peel it off like hot wax, at an angle away from the felt, so that I don’t disturb the placement of the wool. Next, I sand it some more, this time for longer to make sure the layers are attached. I flip it over and sand the backside for good measure, then rinse out the soap and full it on the washboard in the sink. Ahhhh. That’s all there is to it.
That’s right folks, “that’s all there is to it.” WHAT?!? Here’s a pic of the finished dress:
You all must go see the pics of the whole crazy process. Click on the photo album link.
Next there’s my friend Francesca’s mom. She crocheted and beaded, not only her own wedding dress, but her bridesmaid’s, matron of honor’s and flower girl’s as well. Here’s a blurb from the local paper:
(At her wedding on Saturday Miss Pauline Philomena Bagshaw wore a full-length dress and train which she had crocheted herself. The bodice and sleeves were edged with 1500 beads. She also made her bridesmaid’s and matron of honour’s crocheted dresses.)
And then there’s me: dabbler, trifler, idler, amateur, lightweight, tinkerer, dilet–wait a minute. I just finished my hat. It looks pretty good! The color in the yarn looks really neat. The uneven weight turned out cool. I rock!
Muddah, faddah kindly disregard this letter. (you’re either old enough to get that reference or you’re not. Sorry.)
I’m looking for a simple sweater vest for a very picky man. Does anyone have a pattern with a single cable, and a v neck? Everything I’ve showed David he’s nixed for one reason or another.
So I spun my first 6 oz of wool. It’s incredibly addictive. All I can think of is my next roving fix. Oh sure it starts with a free drop spindle and a bit of wool, next you’re buying a few dollars worth of roving, next thing you know you’re cruising eBay looking for Spinning Wheels.
Here’s my crazy drop spindle made from CDs and my first spindle full of wool.
My first 3 oz. were pretty chunky. Christina gave me a bit of blue roving. I practiced on it and plyed it with a commercial yarn. I knit this sad little swatch with me very first plied yarn:
After a little practice, I took a shot at the other 3 oz. of wool. I did a little better on the old drop spindle. I Kool Aid dyed both plys a light raspberry. I meant it to be a lot darker, but I didn’t use enough Kool Aid. David kept threatening to drink it because it smelled “so sweet and tasty”.
Here’s my first ply before and after Kool Aid dying:
I built the bizarre little cardboard box contraption that Christina drew for me. I was initially going to ply each 3 oz spindle with commercial yarn, but I decided to ply them together after all.
If your just checking the blog today, scroll down (trust me it’s worth it). This is actually part two of a post. There was too much for one post.
On to Knit Out New York. Holy @^%$ that’s a lotta knitters in one place! I got there at 11:58 am (it started at noon), and there were already thousands of people there. Usually I love being around knitters, but being around 30,000 knitters when free patterns, free yarn, and free needles are being given out, was not for the faint of heart. I don’t know what the heck was going on at the Michael’s booth, but those women looked like they’d kill you just as soon as look at you, so I kept moving.
I enjoyed the fashion show. The dogs were really hard to photograph, because they moved kinda quickly. The kids were even harder to photograph. All my kid shots came out blurry. Here are some of the doggy fashion show.
(the dog wouldn’t put on the sweater)
The human fashion show was really long, but the always fabulous Yarn Harlot kept things lively. The whole show broke down into three distinct groups:
1) things I would knit and wear
2) things that I admire, but wouldn’t wear
3) just because you can knit it, doesn’t mean you SHOULD knit it
(my fave – Lion Brand Cashmere Blend. Knit it Fall/Winter 06)
(I liked this as a top, but was horrified when they said it was a dress. Is the designer high?)
So my fun filled few days of knitting began Thursday night at the Tea Lounge in Park Slope (I know, not technically the weekend, but just go with me. There I met the Park Slope Knitting Circle. It was really a great evening. First of all, love my Tea Lounge! If they sold yarn it would be my fave place on earth. Hmmm, that’s an idea. I met a lot of cool knitters. My favorite moment in the evening was when Emily nonchalantly walked in carrying her spinning wheel. As you might imagine . . . she turned a few heads. She was nice enough to give me a little tutorial. I found it pretty cool, but lets face it. I’m out of control enough with the knitting. I can’t get into spinning. . . right. . . (gulp).
Then I saw this woman knitting a beautiful sweater out of yarn she spun herself. Well Alexandra started talking to me about how great spinning is. I said I don’t really have any room for a wheel. She said “you can spin on a drop spindle”. I said “you are not going to be satisfied until I start spinning”. Well Alexandra, Emily, wait till ya hear what I did on Saturday!
So next stop on Patty’s tour of cool knitting spots was the New Jersey Sheep and Wool festival. It was my first ever Sheep & Wool Festival. It was also my consolation prize for not being able to go to Rhinebeck. It’s the same weekend as my family reunion. Although I toyed around with the idea of disowning my own family, I came out of my yarn daze in time to realize that wasn’t a great idea. As soon as my pal Francesca and I arrived we signed up for the 10:30 am spinning workshop (Happy now Alexandra??). We got a crazy drop spindle made from two CD’s. It was really hard to get the hang of. Francesca said hers looked like dred locks. Of course, by the end of the workshop I was shopping for rowving. I decided to buy 6 oz because I figured that would take me a while.
(nice bunnies . . .I mean sweaters) (SCARY sheep)
Way off in the corner of the barn, segregated from all the other sheep was the sad sight of racism in the animal kingdom. The dreaded KKK sheep:
Okay, not really. I think they were just keeping there coats clean until after the show. But we did think they looked just like KKK sheep. They kinda freaked me out.
The craziest thing we saw was the sheep dog demonstration. They were herding, wait for it, geese. It was one of the more bizarre sights in the world. I don’t know why the site of dogs ganging up on foul to make them walk through an obstacle course, renewed my faith in humanity . . . but it did.
Of course what day would be complete without a sheep shearing a fleece auction. I was feeling full of love for these creatures that gave me my fiber. I called home and told David I was going to buy a small sheep to keep up on the roof deck. He was not amused.
So, I’m cruising along a few nights ago on my Sarah Tank Top, and I’m feeling a stockinette malaise setting in. Kind of getting bored, kind of itching for a little yarn over, purl together action. So I measure and I think “yeah, it’s time for the cool edge pattern that repeats in the center of the top”. I happily knit a whole round until I realize that I forgot to do the increase round you need to do before the pattern. %#@$%!!! Unknitting a whole round of pearl togethers and yarn overs is a stone cold drag.
Meanwhile, back in to the world’s most tedious project. My friend Zeena saw a black, white and grey braided scarf last winter (for $45.00!). I told her “screw that, I’ll just make you one”. I’ve been knitting working on it on and off for eleven months. Knitting three REALLY long strips of knit two, purl two in sock weight yarn is so boring. I keep the strips rolled up so I can carry them on the subway easier. It makes it look cooler than it is.
tomorrow I’ll tell you all about my crazy knitting weekend (Park Slope Knitting Circle on Thursday, NJ Sheep and Wool Festival Sunday, Knit out NY and Sit n’ Knit NY on Sunday)