Monthly Archives: April 2008

Inexplicable, Part 2

You know, even though I got up at 6am to get to the airport in time for my flight, I was totally thinking that I wasn’t really that tired. Sure, I’ve pretty much done nothing but walk around Manhattan for 3 days, but that’s not really that tiring, right? Heh. I got back, unpacked, had a nap, and was having trouble remembering what exactly I was supposed to do next.

[I edited my Venezia FO post to include a couple more photos and full project details, for anybody curious! ]

Next time I’ll have to do a bit better about trying to be in touch with other people for meetups – Risa, I will be more organized for sure and we’ll take some lunch break knitting by storm! As it was, though, it was pretty great to show up and then put myself in the hands of Rebecca and her knitting peeps.

So, here are some pics and brief notes from the yarnish portion of my New York City time. Which, come to think of it, was a large portion of the time there. The whole visit sort of went like this: walk subway walk museum walk walk yarn shop walk walk subway food walk walk yarn shop subway walk walk sock picture walk walk yarn shop walk walk food walk walk sit sit knitting sit sit DVDs sit sit sleep coma sleep repeat next day. That’s good, right? I thought so.

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I arrived 3 hours late (seriously, Newark, a 3-hour delay for freakin’ WIND? Bite me.) but just in time to breeze in to the Borders where the Yarn Harlot was speaking. (Though I did run into her at the airport on Wednesday morning on the Toronto end, which was unassailably cool.) She’d just begun the talk and I snuck in with Rebecca and we stood and knitted and listened and laughed. [Aside: For real, someone out there at one of her next signings coming up has to ask her in the Q & A portion about the comma story. She told it in Toronto in the 'thank you' portion of her launch talk, which probably won't make it in there due to time, but I seriously laughed my ass off. So did Rebecca and Melanie when I re-told it to them.]

Melanie and Holly totally made it onto the Yarn Harlot’s blog post from the New York day’s post, so go them, and it was great to see Catrina and Abbie again too. This is a group of gals who all coalesced around the same knitting group, and they get along and have different interests and pasts and jobs and it’s all great. I will totally hang out with them any day of the week. It was also really awesome to see other knitters while standing in line (dude, the back of the line was so not fun to stand in, that was another 2 hours of standing, and my legs were weak by the end of it….but still OK for the knitting and conversation that passed the time. Knitters are a living breathing example of perseverance.)

The next day, while on the subway on the way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rebecca and I encountered Rita, a visiting knitter from (I think) Connecticut (with her parents), who knew about the Yarn Harlot and had her knitting with her, and started talking to us when she saw us knitting on our projects. It was great. Hi, Rita! It was totally great to meet another knitter on the subway, it actually happens to me pretty rarely when I am in Toronto.

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Post-Met, we wandered over to Knitty City. I don’t mind saying that this was my favourite shop of all the ones we went to (I’m totally not biased because of the Fleece Artist and Mission Falls stock…not at all…), and we visited five LYSs. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable, patient, and there was a constant stream of activity in and out of the shop. Would go back again in a heartbeat. I scored some Shi Bui sock yarn and some Lorna’s Laces.

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There was more yarn shop visiting scattered throughout the next couple of days. Downtown Yarns was, for me, a close second to Knitty City, I thought they were a real counterpart to Lettuce Knit in Toronto in terms of atmosphere and neighbourhood and yarn selection. (And also they just happened to have Fleece Artist and Mission Falls). I picked up a braid of fiber.

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We also stopped by Purl (gorgeous), and Seaport Yarns (Awesome Cherry Tree Hill selection, I got some). We happened by Knit New York sort of by accident while on the way for dinner. I must say they have one of the best Noro selections I’ve seen outside of Romni Wools in Toronto. Melanie was with us and despite proclamations of I DON’T DO THIS STASH BULLSHIT got taken down by the Misti Alpaca chunky and left with a skein which she promptly began turning into a hat.

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I will say one thing about New York – if I spent that time every day on the subway, I might have a sweater every two weeks. I started a pair of Jaywalkers on Tuesday and I’m already halfway finished the 2nd sock.

Good times, good times.

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Filed under knitting in public, knitting tourism, yarn stores

Venezia takes Manhattan

Venezia - Finished!

I’m in New York, loving it, and loving the photos my knitting pal Rebecca took of Venezia. Here I am with Venezia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on a beautiful clear day.

And a fun hi and hello to all the great knitters I met at the New York Yarn Harlot book launch! I don’t take my top off for just anyone, you know. Just people who appreciate steeks. (I had a t-shirt on underneath, tsk, get yer minds out of the gutter).

[Edit - April 6th for more details]

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Pattern: Venezia Pullover by Eunny Jang, Winter 2006
Size: 37.75 ins bust
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette. Foreground (light): Cream, tan, twig, golden heather.
Background (dark): Garnet heather (also for the hems), autumn heather, merlot heather, iris heather, clematis heather.
Needles: 3.0mm (colour work) and 2.75mm (for hems and neckline).
Modifications:
When I looked on Ravelry I saw others had done a v-neck version, I knew I had to follow the lead on this one. I much prefer the versatility of v-necks and it’s a very practical style. Thank you very much to Maud’s modification notes, which I used as a guideline. I placed the beginning of the v-neck about an inch below the beginning of the armhole decreases.

I also modified for length, adding 1 inch evenly before the waist shaping decreases (I did this by starting the chart sooner than the pattern instructions), and 1 inch even after the shaping decreases. I did similar modifications to the sleeves in order to add an inch in length there. These paid off big time – the waist sits where my waist is and I couldn’t be happier!

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I’m very pleased with this sweater – it fits, it’s comfortable, and damn is it pretty! It’s sort of surreal to actually wear it and think that I made it from balls of yarn. On the 2nd day I wore it I had to sort of stop in front of mirrors and look at it and think, WHOA. I made this sweater!

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Yo, for serious. If you’re thinking about making one of these, go for it. I won’t say it’s easy, I won’t say it’s hard. But I will say that it’s worth it.

When I’d cut the steeks and sewn up the seams on the sleeves, I slipped it on unblocked to make sure it fit OK and to reassure myself. And it was reassuring to know that it did indeed fit just like I wanted. But at the same time it was an odd moment, because I realized that it was no longer my knitting. It had become a piece of clothing, and that meant I didn’t get to knit it anymore. And that made me kind of sad.

The bar’s been set, my friends. More fair isle, more.

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Inexplicable, Part 1

It’s 11pm and I’m in my pyjamas running around trying to stuff things in my suitcase necessary for a) 4 days in New York and b) temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius, which I’ve almost forgotten what that’s like. And I’ve got to do an apology because i’ve been horrible with responding to comments and emails the last few days and my brain just hasn’t been able to cope.

Also, I’m having a bit of a drinkie because I’ve still not fully come to terms with the fact that my dissertation is no longer in my hands, Venezia is still not fully dry after laying out all day (I put her on spin in the washer and laid her out on a drying rack and am crossing all fingers and appendages for transportability tomorrow), and I’m so overtired from stress that I don’t think my brain remembers what bodily relaxation is like.

But by this time tomorrow i’ll be in another city and that will help matters I am sure. When I booked my ticket to New York a couple of months ago I knew I’d be hitting the right time to see the Yarn Harlot on April 2nd and that I’d be missing her in Toronto on April 1st, and yet the bizarre series of circumstances that has been causing me other stress the last few weeks also led to me being in Toronto today, and with a free evening. So I got to go. It was fun. I tried my best to let my brainwaves come down from Beta (concentration, stimulation), and move into Alpha (no concentration required) and perhaps even Theta (meditative state…still working on that one…)

The Isabel Theatre was lovely for waiting in.

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I am super proud of my see-stor Martha who totally scored 4th place in the Inexplicable Knitter Behaviour Toronto scavenger hunt. Yay! (Seen here with Kate on the right who accompanied her for the afternoon. Martha totally got a TTC driver’s picture too, which I think rocks.)

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And we got serenaded by the Skydiggers beforehand. Or is it a concert? Is it a serenade if it’s for 300 of your closest knitting friends? I have a vid clip here that I took of their first song and it was really so lovely to listen to that I want to share it. I hope they won’t mind. (But if someone tells me to yank it down I totally will.)

I’ll have my camera but not my laptop on my travels so I may not be able to blog much…but I’ll do my best for Venezia pics and New York pics and all assorted yarny tales. Rebecca is going to make sure we get to Knitty City and Seaport Yarns, along with all touristy attractions.

Catch you on the flip side, knitters!

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Filed under knitting humour, knitting in public, knitting tourism