Friday, March 27, 2009

Don't Make Me Pull Over!

A couple weeks ago, Hubby decided to join me for SnB, but when we got there, everyone was a no-show so we took the opportunity to check out some neighborhoods in Brooklyn and walk across the bridge. In DUMBO we came across this adorable covered wagon.
I was very caught up in its cuteness. It is hard not to be, because it is adorable.
Then I started to wonder why it was in Brooklyn. I usually associated covered wagons with long voyages to the West. Then I saw the rest of the story...
Then, like an echo from all those years ago, I could hear the animated pioneer mom yell, "If you two don't stop, I'm turning the wagon around!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


One of the women working on Martha's show is from Hoboken, so when she was preparing for the special Yarn episode, and she discovered the Hoboken SnB, she made sure we were invited.  I wasn't going to pass up such a unique opportunity, so I took the day off and headed into Hoboken to meet up with the group.  

We all wanted good seats, so we headed in early, really early.  We made it to the studio with no problems, so we had about an hour and half to wait in line before they would let us in.  The weather was great, there was free coffee, coco and breakfast foods, the company was wonderful, 
and of course, we were surrounded by knitting, so standing in line was actually great fun.  

Once inside the studio, we waited in a nice seating area for further instructions.  There, we were taught how to clap, cheer, aww, yumm, and laugh. We waited for a bit more, chatted with other knitters, and admired all of the incredible projects that people brought along.

Shortly before the taping started, they herded us into the room where all the magic was going to happen, and we waited some more.  None of us minded.  We all had our knitting, and the music was fun.  The crew were constantly complimenting us on what a great audience we were since we all had out WIPs to keep us occupied.  After a refresher course on how to fade out our clapping, they let us take pictures of the set (from our seats).  

Yarn balls hanging in the windows

Yarn Baskets sitting on all of the shelves

And yarn creations on display (yes that deer is yarn)

The actual taping was fun, but it was hard to hear much of what was going on.  What we did hear was the snide comments Martha made, and Mo Rocca giving it right back to her.  When the taping was over, Martha said something (I don't remember what, but it was pleasant), and slowly, we filed back out into the street.

Martha in her lovely yellow sweater (that was not hand knit)

Yep, that's a crocheted urinal that she's standing next to.

Why don't I remember what Martha said?  Well because I like most of my group was a little shocked at our audience gift.  Now, I don't feel like I am entitled to a free gift because I showed up to do something that I wanted to do anyway, but this gift just didn't seem appropriate.  It was a fun fur scarf kit.  I believe this product has its place in the knitting world, and I have already found some great uses for fun fur, but as a gift to a group of talented knitters who value quality yarn, it is disappointing.  Margaux, speaks for the yarn snob in all of us with her post on the event, but I think it is all summed up in Chris's picture.

Seem Familiar?

So, the super secret project has been sent out, and I am just waiting to hear back that it has been received.

With that completed, I cast on my next big project. If you are thinking that this yarn looks familiar, you may be remembering the vest I started making way back last July.  This particular cotton, was just not loving the long stretches of stockinette.  (My gauge inconsistencies were not helping much either.)  if you remember back that far, you may also remember that this is the yarn I had originally intended to use for my Aleita Shell, but it was discouraged as a substitute yarn by someone on Ravelry because it didn't have any linen.  (I still find yarn substitution entirely intimidating.)  

So, I've been holding on to this yarn waiting for the perfect project I've spent months and months of cruising through Ravelry and looking at potential patterns, but I just kept coming back to Aleita.  I love the style of the pattern, and I think that the strong stitch definition of this yarn would really make the lines on the top half pop.  Despite the advice I was so graciously given.  I am going to press on an make another one.  

The other reason I was really wanting a new Aleita is because the last one is not really living up to my expectations.  I was hoping for a sweater that I could wear over a blouse with slacks for work.  I've tried to do that with my blue Aleita, but after the first washing the yarn really softened in appearance.  That, along with the color, just lends itself to a comfy pair of jeans.  When I put it on with slacks, I feel like I am making it be more than it really is.  It also doesn't fit me like I wish it would.  I followed the directions to the letter, and failed to make any adjustments to suit me.  Despite all this, I still love it. 

I am a little braver now, so I've made a slew of adjustments to the pattern, and so far, I am extremely pleased with the results.  

So pleased in fact, that I took this project along to knit on as I sat in the audience of the Martha Stewart Show. I could have picked anything to work on and declare my pride for on my first syndicated debut, but if you tuned in yesterday, this is what you would have seen me holding.  Stay tuned for more on Martha.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

FO: Hubby's Hat

Secret project update: All of the knitting is done. I have some unusual finishing to do and then I can send it off to the recipients. Once I get confirmation from them that they've gotten it, I can tell you all about it.

Ever since Hubby started doing the grocery shopping, I've been wanting to make him a hat. The store is not far from our apartment, and the walk there is a really nice one along the water. However, being along the water is a bit windy and it can get pretty chilly. When Hubby mentioned that he had been pulling his scarf over his head so that it covered his ears instead of his neck, I knew he was in need of some urgent knitted attention.

I couldn't decide between the Armando hat or the Koolhaas hat so I let Hubby decide. Without hesitation he requested the "KoolAss" hat so I cast on right away. While I started it with the though of him wearing it on the promenade near the apartment, I quickly started to think about him wearing it in the city. The reason is, the designer, Jarod Flood, lives in Brooklyn, and I work in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is a pretty big place, especially compared to other places I've lived and worked. The chances of Hubby running into Jarod (we're really not on a first name basis, I'm taking liberties) are fairly unlikely. Despite that, I can't help but wonder what it would be like for Jarod in that situation. New York has a lot of knitters, and Koolhaas is a pretty popular pattern with 3,176 projects currently listed on Ravelry. What would it be like for him to run into a stranger wearing one? Would he say, "Hi, nice hat," or would he smile to himself and continue on his way. How different would that interaction be when he found out that the stranger was loved by a knitter rather than being the knitter themselves?

How would Hubby react if some stranger came up and said, "Dude, did you make that hat? I designed the pattern. That's so cool"? I guess it is not too hard to imagine Hubby's reaction (especially since I know him so much better than Mr. Flood). He'd say something like, "Hey, thanks. My wife made it. I've sworn off cabling since I made this scarf." (Which he'd undoubtedly be wearing proudly.)

What would your reaction be if you saw a stranger on the street who was wearing/holding/using something that you designed?

Pattern: Koolhaas Hat by Jarod Flood
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Onyx Heather
Needles: US 6 (4.0mm)
Notes: No alterations or changes at all. This is a very warm hat.