I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

feeling honored

Dawn Brocco is one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure to meet (albeit through the interwebs, and when I had my shop). Now she has topped even her own niceness and graced me with the Kreativ Blogger Award!

Thank you so much, Dawn.

Readers: you should go to Dawn's blog and check the company she put me in. Oh. My.

As per the rules, I need to nominate 8 blogs.Here are the rules for the nominees:

1. Copy the award to your site.

2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.

3. Nominate 8 other bloggers.

4. Link to those on your blog.

5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

I hereby nominate (in no particular order!) -- truth be told, it was hard to choose. There is so incredibly much creativity out there, expressed in words, photographs, work, caring, knitting, child rearing, cooking, ... well, here's my selection.

Leah's Our Yellow House -- just read read the blog for a week, and you'll see that 'creativity' doesn't begin to cover it.

Amy's Bag of Chocolates -- she knits, she bakes, she makes cards, she translates. I'm sure I've missed something.
habit. There is no comment section on there, but I have grown addicted to reading it.

Contemporary Textile Art. I don't think Lisa knows I'm a reader. I admire the discipline she brings to her work.

Mare's Moon & Stars Studio -- everything Mare makes is made with her heart, not just her hands.

near:far -- a project by Kyrie and Grace, whose blogs you may know. There is a strong quiet creativity at work here.

Mason Dixon. I just had to throw in these two lovely ladies, whom I met at Rhinebeck last year. They knit, they quilt, they sing, and keep us in stitches all the while.

And for sheer spinning, dyeing, and sock knitting madness, check out Socks Street. Let the pictures speak for themselves, if you don't read German.

That's my list.
Now go nominate some of your own faves!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

knitting art

I've tried to avoid merely linking to other people's blog as an entry lately because if I've got nothing to say, why should I go steal someone else's words?

But this is just too cool to pass up. Please go read Franklin's The Panopticon, Feb.18, 2009.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a day in the snow and sun

Yesterday I took Crafty Girl to Jiminy Peak, a ski resort less than an hour away from us.

The whole resort is powered by a giant wind turbine.

Crafty Girl was even sporting her 'I heart wind turbines' t-shirt!

I rented some skis, boots and poles, and after 22 years of not skiing at all, it came right back to me! My dad taught me how to ski when I was a wee one, and I got to be an expert skier by the time I hit my teens. The day brought back many happy memories for me.

However, I did NOT make it up to the summit!

I am too out of shape to risk spending $58 for a lift ticket...besides, Crafty Girl would certainly not be ready to negotiate real runs.

We stuck with the bunny hill at the bottom. I got a good workout climbing up a few times and gliding down while she was in her first snowboarding lesson ever, which I gave her on the occasion of her upcoming birthday on Satuday.

She took a few falls and is sore today. But I am very proud of her for trying! As for playing sports, she decided she likes soccer much better. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

sweet love

Box of chocolate covered strawberries by Crafty Girl for friends.
Red roses from Dear Husband.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

yarn survey

I am wondering if you could help me out with something.

I would like you to write to me in the comments and tell me if you have a local yarn source. I DO NOT mean your local yarn shop, unless they carry locally produced yarn. This is all about where the yarn came from, and who made it, and if there are knitters out there using it.

1) Have you ever gone to a local farmer's market/sheep and wool festival/farm and fiber tour/other local to you source and bought yarn there? Do you ask for locally produced yarns at the yarn shops you visit?

By local I mean a 100 mile radius.
If that does not apply, think of yarn that may have come from your state, or the state you visited.
If that does not apply, did you seek out yarn from a domestic spinnery, such as Bartlett Yarns or Blackberry Ridge?

2) Do you remember the name of the farm/spinnery/producer the yarn came from? Details?

3) What do you remember about the yarn (weight, colors, softness, durability, the project you used it for, anything)? Would you buy such yarn again, or would you rather buy a name brand? Why?

I need primarily North American sources, but I'd also love to read about all others. To be honest with you, I am not entirely sure where this information will lead me, but I have been talking to a lot of producers in the last year. Now it's time to talk to some knitters, the consumers! If there is anything about yourself that you would like me to know, such as: "I have been knitting since I was two and I buy only undyed yarn from the farm next door"; or "I only just started knitting last year and all I know is malwart yarn. Yarn comes from sheep??" -- add that information.

If you have a blog, please spread the word for me. I would like to get as many answers as possible. I'll leave the survey up until 2/16/09, post the results, and see if I have enough material for an article.

If you know of any threads or groups on Ravelry on the subject, please let me know.


Friday, February 6, 2009


My sister has many talents, and one of them is growing orchids.
She sent me a picture this week, and I'd like to share it with you. (Click on it to make bigger.)

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

retreat (part three: project)

For the retreat, I put together a booklet of 21 knitting patterns that had a 5x5 inch template in the front, for easy measuring. We didn't swatch because the squares were practically a swatch unto themselves, and if the number of stitches was wrong we could just rip and start over within minutes.

The knitting patterns were of varying degrees of difficulty, to accommodate a range of skill and inclination. There was no pressure at all as to how many squares everyone was supposed to make. After all, this was a Retreat. We were retreating from our daily cares for one weekend, to help us slow down and process recent upheavals that we were all exposed to, good (new president) or bad (economy; war). We had comfy beds to sleep in and had the luxury of being served extraordinary food that was lovingly prepared.

The meditations led by Elaine Yuen helped us calm our minds, stay in the moment, and direct our thoughts towards others who are less fortunate than us. The premise going in was that we would make squares, which would be assembled into a blanket or two, which in turn would be donated to people in need.

While I realize that many many knitters do this on a daily basis, it was fantastic to see what 12 women could do over the course of one weekend. As we all sat around a big table, the conversation ebbed and flowed, there was lots of laughter, and community was palpable.
Story after story was shared, while colors and patterns were selected, new techniques learned.
To me, it was a distillation of what knitting is about. There was a huge sense of gratefulness for the abundance of yarn, for each other, and for each other's accomplishments.

I had brought my blocking board so we could block the squares as they got finished.

We had divided the yarn into wool/natural fibers, and acrylics/machine washable.

By Sunday morning, there were enough squares for me to begin assembly. Amy and I crocheted squares together into rows; Angela and Jen wove in ends, taking care of the wool blanket.

Dina and her helpers (forgive me, I can't remember who they were!) took care of the acrylic blanket.
There was actually one more row than is shown here.

In the end, we had made 72 squares. A brandnew knitter, who was a volunteer at the retreat, added #73 at the end, which will be added as a little pocket on top of the acrlylic one for a child to put a toy inside.

Arranging and flattening felt like we put our blessings on the blankets one more time.

Group portrait in the shrine room.

Thank you ever so much, everyone!
(front row: Nancy, Elaine, Barbara, Amy, Abby. Back row: Gretchen, myself, Angela next to me, Patrice in back between us, Pat, Dina, Jennifer, and Annie our beginner standing tall behind Pat.)
I am finishing and blocking the wool blanket as we speak, it will go to afghans for Afghans *.
Amy took the acrylic blanket home to finish and donate to an agency in Bennington, VT, that helps teenage pregnant girls and their babies.
* I just read the guidelines for the current campaign. There is a rolling deadline. The blanket as it's sized now is too small. I will add another row or two of squares to comply with the requirements.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

retreat (part two: people)

The retreat was called "Knitting as a Peaceful Act".

Elaine Yuen, meditation instructor, modeling one of her creations.

Coming together.

Monday, February 2, 2009