Thursday, April 29, 2010

Seen in NYC

I was in the garden section of Home Depot yesterday and I spotted the following needlecrafter. She graciously allowed me to take her photo and we chatted.

She told me that she knit her sweater from leftover scraps and that she didn't use a pattern. If you click on and enlarge the photo, you'll see there's cables and ribs. I just love the Spring colors! And, remembering Brandon Mably's class, I noted how that yellow stripe makes the other colors pop.

Since yesterday was a chilly, windy day, the needlecrafter had thrown a shawl over her head and shoulders. This was crocheted in the pineapple pattern. She opened it and showed me how large it was and, when asked, she again told me that no pattern was followed.

What a talented lady!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sheep and Wool Festival

Yesterday I took Amtrak to Philadelphia. It's such a short trip--90 minutes--only completed five rows on my secret project, didn't read much on the Kindle and was only able to take a quick glimpse through the newspaper.

Arriving at the 30th St. Station, I noticed this sculpture

But what really caught my eye was the lower left corner

Sheep! SInce I was in Philadelphia to meet up with two New Jersey knitting friends, it seemed only right to be greeted by sheep.

Our destination

Loop! What a terrific yarn store! Look at all this wooly (and cashmere and alpaca and cotton and bamboo and linen and silk and angora) yumminess--

We walked around. Fondled all the yarn. Pulled skeins out, put them back, pulled them out again. Checked patterns. Noticed yarn we hadn't seen before. And I ended up with

Zara Chine--I can't resist black and white tweed, wear-like-iron Trekking Maxima, and Oh my gosh--I love this yarn--CashSock

I also can't praise the owner of Loop, Craig, and the staff enough. (I'm so sorry I didn't get their names.) We were helped not only with the yarn--but they also made a wonderful lunch recommendation.

After a tasty lunch, we returned to Loop. One friend needed an extra skein of yarn. I was just going to sit at their comfy table and wait. But you know that feeling. Ooooooh---pretty yarn---must have now!

I never knit with this type of yarn--but won't it make a couple of fun, cute scarves?

And with that, we said good-bye to Philadelphia and Loop--but we'll be back!

Many thanks to the lovely women at Loop who made our visit to Loop so enjoyable!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Long story about a secret knitting project and travel knitting. I needed to add stitch markers and had a pile of loose ones. Knew I'd be adding the markers while in the car. Time was running very short to get the travel knitting ready.

Went looking for something to contain the stitch markers. I have plenty of little tins, bags, fortune-cookie-looking things that are perfect to hold stitch markers. But couldn't find a single one. Looked in the pantry for a snack-sized ziplock bag. Nope. Only had the gallon size. (And I happen to like using plastic stitch markers! Little rings of yarn don't work for me.)

I was resigned to dumping the stitch markers in the bag with the yarn and needles and had visions of stitch markers bouncing all over the car. Then I saw it! On the coffee table, next to the stitch markers was an Eileen Fisher sweater pin. Perfect!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

H is for

the herbs I plan to grow.

Over the next few months in knit-blog world, we'll be seeing photos of gardens being planted, growing and being harvested. My inner-suburban-plot-of-land-to-grow-stuff farmer turns green with jealousy as I see the tomatoes and flowers and even the zucchini being grown.

Living in a small, NYC apartment doesn't give me much opportunity to play around in dirt. But, this year, I'm going to try.

Hubster and I were upstate over the weekend and we stopped into a nursery. I decided to start with a few herbs. Basil, cilantro and mint. Visions of mozzarella and tomato, guacamole and iced tea.

Since we have sunny south-facing windows, I chose herbs that enjoy the sun.

That's the cilantro and basil. Since I've read that the mint is an aggressive, take-over type of plant, I'll plant that in a separate container.

This morning, when I opened the curtains, the scent of basil filled the air. I'm gonna love this!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Its been few days since I took Brandon Mably's incredible class. My head is still a swirl of colors and words.

When I was in junior high school, an art teacher attempted to teach us color theory. I was hopeless! I could never remember what were primary colors and what were secondary colors. Was it a tint or a shade? Happily this is NOT what Brandon's class was about.

We scattered partial skeins of yarn on the floor. Brandon then rolled around in the yarn told us that if we looked closely enough, some color combinations would catch our eye and trigger emotional responses. And this is when the magic started happening!

Next we formed two appropriately named Magic Balls--one of light colors, the other of darker colors. Using the Magic Balls, we knit the Persian Poppies pattern. Fair Isle. EEEEK! I'd never knit fair isle before and my fair isle is hardly the fairest of them all. But, after making some mistakes, magic happened and I got with the program.

Here's my pre-lunch swatch:

Brandon put the swatches on the board and it took me a few seconds to recognize mine. And this also is part of the magic! Brandon told us that we should always step back and look at our knitting. What looks wonky and weird close-up may actually be quite lovely when we step back.

After lunch, more Magic Ball and more Persian Poppies. Magically, we all seemed more confident. I know I better understood what Brandon meant about trusting our intuition when putting colors together. Even colors that don't usually speak to us shouldn't be dismissed if, when put next to another color, they make something pop or trigger an emotion.

Once again the swatches were pinned to a board and discussed. Brandon saw beauty in each one even when we saw our flaws.

And then, just when we thought we knew what we liked and didn't like about our swatches---Brandon turned the board upside down! And, like magic, there was something totally new!

Monday, April 12, 2010


20 partial skeins of yarn? Yep -- well, actually I have 17.
Needles? Of course!
Scissors? Got 'em.
Notebook and pencil? Would a pen be OK?

It looks like I'm ready for tomorrow!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pollen Forecast

Right now, I'm sitting in our apartment with the windows shut and the air conditioning on. Allergies. Real bad allergies. I feel as if my head is stuffed full of super-bulky wool.

I ran a couple of chores earlier today. And though my goal was to get home and out of the pollen as quickly as possible, I couldn't help but notice how beautiful everything is.

This street looks magical! I couldn't get a photo that truly captures it. The entire street has a surreal, misty look because of the flowering trees.

The tree on the right must not have gotten the memo that it should be blooming right now.

This tree is in the middle of a busy commercial strip.

But this one is in a little park.

Green and blue--a natural color combination!

The entire front of this building has these trees in front. It's quite a dramatic sight.

Tulips! I think this warm weather has caused them to bloom a little earlier this year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

View from a Spring Window

Since I like to show my block in the snow, here's how it looks in the Spring.

My heart does a little leap when I look out the window!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

A happy and blessed Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

G is for

Daffodils are so last week!

This week, other things have started to grow and turn green.

Some very early tulips--

A few trees are beginning to flower and bud--

And my Jackie sweater is also very slowly growing row by row!