Thursday, March 29, 2007

Where'd that Come From!?

Uptown Boot Sock

But seriously, where the hell did that come from? You'll notice the cuff of that sock from the photo of the yarn crawl swag. You'll also notice how I said I had to cast the sock on like 20 million times. I started it for real on Saturday (that's less than a week ago Saturday by the way). And I finished the sock today at The Point today after work. Pattern's called the Uptown Boot Socks from Interweave's Favorite Socks. I'm on size 1 Addis.

A couple things contributed to the quickness I think. Firstly, it's not blue. It's not quite the anti blue (I do have some orange Koigu for my next socks), but it's a warm color which is very different than the three other blue projects that I've got going on right now. Also, I've been knitting on the subway for the past week. I finished The Fountainhead last week by Ayn Rand, and I the only other book I've got going is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off. Somehow, when I'm thinking of either reading about knitting on the subway or actually knitting on the subway, knitting on the subway wins out.

There were a couple omissions left out from the Represent Round up. While SB Ruth and I were on the Q on the way home from 34th street that night there was this kinda cute guy. he noticed that we were knitting and that i was wearing that SNB shirt. He asked us if we always knit on the train or if we were coming from an event. His face kinda caved in on itself when we said we came from an event with about 650 to 700 knitters at it. Quite possibly the most amusing muggle face ever. And so appropriate after Stephanie's speech.

Before that however, the NYC SNB gang grabbed a few bites of food after the whole shindig. We went to Brgr which is pretty much right across the street from the auditorium. We were just about done with dinner and I was in a conversation with Claudine (Claudine, note that that's an actual link to your BLOG!!! :-p) when this woman at another table interrups me and asks if I knit my socks. I reply yes (they were the green embossed leaves socks), and that we were a whole table full of knitters. She asked if I knit for myself, friends or if I sell them. I told her that I knit socks normally for myself but for some friends and that socks would be expensive if I were to knit them. I explained to her that after the supplies that would cost at least $25, with all the time put into the socks, you're looking at a pair of $300 socks. She affirmed that some people in the city would buy $300 pairs of socks. At that point i turned back to Claudine and continued my conversation. At some point Heather told me to give the woman my card. So I did. She was wise and said that if the woman actually does contact me, and I seriously don't want to knit her a pair of socks, I can pimp out one of my SNB gals. That's right.

Pimp a knittah.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Yarn Harlot's Represent Tour

Finally figured it out! I have to log in somehow, but the only way that I can log in is by commenting on someone's blog (this time, my own!)

On to better things: Thursday was amazing!

Meridith at the Today Show

A group of us started out at the Today show, yelling and screaming. It was a good time.

To dethaw, I headed to School Products. I met Dana and SB Annette.

On our way to Habu we stopped off at The Art Directors Club. They had a really interesting exhibit of alternatives to phone booths. I strongly suggest folks check it out cause it was a) free and b) really interesting and amusing. It's on W.29th street. Habu was pretty good though. Most of the yarns they have are way too small for my tastes, so I just perused a bit and warmed up (my toes were still recovering) and watched Annet buy some roving. Here Dana and Annet are as we're leaving Habu - my morning entourage!

Dana and Annette @ Habu

We managed to grab a few bites to eat at the Manhattan Mall before heading up to Strawberry Fields. We just made the photo shoot! Here's Stephanie and her traveling sock sitting on this beautiful bench I found for Sandy Sue

Yarn Harlot and the travelling sock

A bunch of us milled about for a bit after the sock photo, and I managed to get my copy of the new book that I got at that Borders trade show signed. She said it was the first copy of the new book she signed - so I feel pretty special! Also there, was Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting fame (link to the blog can be found on the sidebar). I'm not posting our photo because she seemed a little leary of that.

*I'll add links to blogs when I get home, they're all on my favorites there and I'm at work right now*
From Strawberry Fields we amassed the troups and headed off so others could get a bite (and I could get a much needed beverage). Then we walked to Knitty City. There was much bought there...some beautiful fleece artist. I was good though. While I wanted to buy tons of stuff, I remembered that I'm doing the knit from your stash bit, and only bought the allowed sock yarn.

We then proceeded on to The Yarn Co. While I didn't really have a horrible experience there, I will admit to sensing cold and prickly ness from at least one person who worked there. I finally just sat down in a yarn exhaustion, long enough for me to get someone to take this photo of us sitting and figuring out what to do next:

My hoarde of yarn crawlers

We decided to just head on down to FIT next. Sit, knit, chat, etc. Which was good because I had been going since like 5am, and I'm not sure that my fellow crawlers were used to doing so much walking. At any rate, it was definitely time for a rest. I cast on a sock, and got to the ribbing before it was time to go on a tour of the FIT knitting machines. Ann Denton was really awesome and kept her cool even though I'm sure more knitters than she was expecting turned up. Here's a couple of shots of the nifty machines they had going:

Knitting Machine
This one has such a fine gauge, I can't even think about it...

another knitting Machine

Ann Denton, herself being awesome and showing us how the knitting machine works.

After the tour we went into the audtiorium to wait for her Yarn Harlotness to speak.

NYC SNBs does what we do best

We knit to our little hearts content and chatted with others. I managed to knit a whole square for Warm Up America in the time we were waiting and her speech and the questions/comments period. I never thought I was going to finish.

Heather Dixon

Heather (sorry about the red eye babe!)was adorable as she was asking her question. I've never seen her quite so bashful! And Stephanie even seemed to have heard of her name before, which was pretty exciting!

All in all it was a really LONG but great day! I managed to come out of it relatively cheaply:

the day's loot!

That's an Uptown Boot Sock that's cast on right there. I had to re-cast it on several times because I could never get gauge. I'm using Addis and I'm on a size one and i'm not so keen with how the heel has turned out (yeah, even though I re-cast on only Saturday, I've somehow managed to already get past the turning of the heel!). The gauge is way loose for my liking, but my zeroes are being used for Ann's mittens, and so I'll have to make do. I'll probably just reinforce the heel and toe once I get done with them. It's Fleece Artist sock yarn, and it's simply a dream. That orange stuff is the Koigu from School Products. I haven't ever used Koigu, so I can't wait!


That's Katy, Guido and I REPRESENTIN' at FIT.

I want to thank everyone that made it such an enjoyable day! All my new friends, you folks better stay in touch ya hear!? I had so much fun, and it certainly wouldn't have been the same without you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Good question, how will you know me?

Yarn Harlot to go go!

Hello! Dana, this is what I'll be wearing (though it might be a bit brighter out). Dana, Joe and Beth, and anyone else interested in tagging along can also email me (jwendell/at/gmail/dot/com) and I'll hook you up with my cell phone number. Anytime anyone wants to join the PassionKNIT bandwagon is good with me! For those of you who have no idea what i'm talking about, the last post describes my part of the YarnHarlot's Represent NYC tour.

Also, Rebecca, for you, the NYC SNB shirts can be found by clicking the link below. I ordered mine last Thursday and got it today, but it seems like black shirts take a bit longer. I LOVE my shirt though, and will be wearing it on Thursday!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Thursday's itinerary and finally some WIP news!!

So I figured out how I'm planning out my Thursday around the Yarn Harlot's Cast Off Book event. I'm taking Thursday off of work. Looking at the weather for Thursday onward, I realized that Saturday is supposed to be not so nice, and that I'd much rather fill in some voids of YarnHarlotness on Thursday than actually do a whole day of Yarnness (well, that and I told Claudine that we'd have special James Bond/Daniel Craig day on Saturday). Here's my plan:

6:00 am - meet at Rockefeller for the Today Show (organized by It's a Purl, Man invite is here.

~10am - head to School Products (mostly because they open before noon!) for a bit of yarn porn.

Noon - magically appear at Strawberry Fields for the infamous Sock Photo.

Whenever the sock photo gets over - head to Knitty City on 79th between Broadway and Amsterdam (west side)
Maybe the The Yarn Company after that - Disclaimer: I've never been here, but I want to see if the people are really as evil as everyone claims, and it's sorta in the neighborhood.

~ 5ish - I'm thinking it'll be about time to grab something to eat somewhere and wait in line to get into the event itself on 27th and 7th ave at FIT's Haft Auditorium.

So how does that sound?

I've been quite busy knitting though, even if I haven't been busy with blogging about knitting. I'm sure the first thing on everyone's mind is "how's the sweater coming?"
The sweater is coming:

Reflection Aran Pullover progress 3-17

I've got about 18" for the front, and I need to reach 23.5" before I can start in on the neck. It is looking quite lovely though.

Reflection Aran Pullover front glamor shot

Mentally, I'm totally done with this sweater. Physically, obviously I have quite a bit to go even after I finish the front. My brother asked if he could have it for Easter. We'll see, but probably not. I'm working on it as much as I can without vomiting over the color (sure, it's pretty, but after seeing it sooooo much, it's really driving me close to vomiting).

Onto the next item...the Icarus Shawl. This one has been slow for me. It's my first real attempt at lace. I just started the third chart though.

Icarus shawl detail

Since I didn't have a sock to work on for my trip to Denver and back, I brought along my Icarus shawl. I got quite a few rows done. I think it's gotten quite a bit bigger since you've seen it last:

Icarus Shawl

I caved and bought one of those Know Knits pouches to put my yarn in. It looked like the small size was perfect for socks or my Icarus. I can fit the photocopied chart, a ball of yarn and the whole shawl into that bag. It's really handy to carry around. I'm not even worried about spilling anything on my knitting while it's in my bag anymore! I'm really liking the pattern and liking the yarn Misti Alpaca lace weight even more. It's so soft and luxurious!

I guess that's all for now, I should stop doing these marathon posts! Hope to see you at the book launch day long party!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Still no WIP news...

However, I'm totally psyched about the Cast Off Book Launch! I was at a trade show for Borders in Denver and managed to snag a copy off of the book!!
I'm even more excited now that I have the book to meet Stephanie!!

I volunteered to lead a yarn crawl around, I plan to have an itinerary by the end of the weekend, and will let you all know what's going on. I want it to occur on Saturday, March 24th. I'd ideally like to hit up a stores I've never been to and a few I haven't been to in quite some time like Brooklyn General in Red Hook, Stitch Therapy in Park Slope, maybe School Products around 34th street (we'd need the subway ride to rest after all that walking - but I'm hoping there'll be a bus that can help us out!) and then either Knitty City on the UWS or Purl in SoHo. I figure that I spend enough time at The Point as it is that I can forgo one weekend for the sake of exploring new territory.

The reason why I'm thinking Saturday will be easier to do a yarn crawl on is simple: I honestly could find only a handful of places (actually just one) that opened before noon. Since the sock photo is going to be at Central Park at noon on Thursday, that makes it relatively inconvenient to try to get to yarn stores in the morning or in the afternoon after the sockness. So I'm going to this event setup by The Purl Man at The Today Show at 7am at the latest. I'll try to get there even earlier if I can. I'll probably find somewhere for an early lunch and then head over to Central Park for the sock picture. This might be slightly troubling because you'll notice that I haven't got a sock on the needles. I think I'll be bringing Ann's Yellow Dotted Mittens with me. They're sock like in their stature...I'll show them sometime to you! :)

Woa...this has been a very link heavy post. Plan is to take some photos in the slushy weather tomorrow. I've done a lot of knitting recently (especially on that trip to Denver with the three hour flight both ways), so I've got a decent amount to show too...I just need to hop to it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Window

I started taking this creative writing class every wednesday night. The first homework assignment was to write an essay called "the window." I chose to write about my favorite yarn shop and the feeling of being on the other side of the window:

The door squeals a "hello" as I open it. Berhan, the barista, greets me as well with that ginger ale he knows I'm going to ask for. I take a sip as I hand him a couple of worn bills and feel the carbonation bubbles dance around my mouth before I finally swallow them. I make my way over to a metal table and slated wood chair next to the window. The indirect sunlight streaming in and warming me up as I once again take a swig from the sweet beverage. I peel back layers of clothing, knowing that the sun will keep me warm and unzip my bag.

A shiny silver metal knitting needle with a mass of yarn hanging practically jumps out of my bag. My latest project is a sweater for my brother, and is no piece of cake. The yarn has somehow been forced to cris-cross in unsuspecting ways creating a fabric that makes people ooh and aah over it. A girl with curly black hair comes over and examines it. Her careful hands pick it up and she strokes the top of it as though it were a kitten. "Such a lovely color!" she exclaims and I nod in agreement before pointing out that it was actually my brother who decided on the deep blue. She hands it back and all I can think of is how much I used to love this color before I'd seen it every day for four months. My hands connect with the needles and move the loops of blue closer to the edges of the needles to begin the meditative ritual of knitting. Tugging at the soft yarn, I create a little slack before swinging the yarn over and around the metal and pulling the new loop through the old. The stresses of the day begin to seep out of me as I lose myself to the relaxing rhythm of the motions. Over, under through. Over. Under. Through. Over…under…through.

Leaning back in my chair, my eyes scan the room. The white walls stand out strongly against the lime green painted wooden floor, even while setting off the baskets and baskets of yarn in every color imaginable. I stare at a few balls of yarn, determining the way they feel from the way they look and the memories I have of touching them. Scratchy wool, fuzzy angora, squishable alpaca, soft cotton yarns all stare back at me in an array of colors in all tints and shades. One basket calls out to me - the alpaca silks in lime green, aqua, magenta, mustard yellow, plum, and pumpkin orange - and I decide that once I finish a few more rows I’ll allow myself the luxury of fondling its softness. Twenty voices reach out to my ears pulling me into their conversations on needles, begging for advice on coordinating colors, cooing about babies or pets, rambling on about television shows, mothers and general life crises.

A flash splits the room and twenty faces look around to find out who snapped the photo. Not one of us has a camera out. In the corner of my eye, I see the suspect. On the other side of the window are about five pedestrians. Their brightly colored store bought hats, scarves and mittens make them stand out against the brick of the building across the street. Their eyes alit, their faces scream at the joy of such a novelty place. But they daren’t come in.

The white paint of the window’s wood frames them as a tableau vivant. They openly stare at all of us as though we were an art exhibit or zoo animals. They point. As they gesticulate wildly we can only imagine their voices saying “What an odd place! What is that they’re doing?! They’re all so cute! Do you think we’re allowed to feed them?” My meditative spell is over, I begin to feel apart of a freak show of knitters gathered together. Speedily I knit, as though knitting will ease my rage at them. I think of various ways to counteract their rudeness. I think of reversing the tables, of staring and pointing at them; calling them the most horrible name a New Yorker can be called: TOURIST! I think of taking pictures of them taking pictures of us. I’m not even feeling the yarn as it glides through my fingers. Yanking yarn out of the ball and winding it tighter and quicker around my needles. Under. Over. Through. Under over through. Underoverthrough.

To ease my tension, I put down the sweater and take another sip of ginger ale. I gaze out the window and instead of a cluster of people, I see the grey, gritty sidewalk, an old bike tied to a no parking sign, bushes of the remnants of Christmas tress and normal Saturday pedestrians. Coffee vapors waver over towards my nostrils and I breathe in deeply. It’s over now. I stand up to distance myself from my dissipating rage and plunge my hand into the basket of brightly colored alpaca silk.