9.28.2010

Downstate and Back Again!

I am just back from a whirlwind weekend in NYC, visiting my parents all by my lonesome and teaching at Knit, Long Island.  It was the first time since my girl was born (read 10 years) that I have had time alone with my parents and we did all of the grown-up things that we've been dying to do together.

Our visit to the Cooper Hewitt National Design museum really sticks out as the highlight of our time together.  Right now there is an exhibit entitled Why Design Now? that really got my blood pumping.  Many of the designs highlighted emphasize solutions to everyday  dilemmas in a way that is simple, refreshing, and brilliant.  The idea that a design serves it's purpose by answering a need in the most logical straightforward way while maintaining a high level of aesthetic inspires me to no end.  From a thresher built from locally obtainable parts (bicycle, cardboard, cable ties), to affordable glasses that can be manually adjusted to the wearer's prescription, to a program in England that revives the telephone for the elderly to create community, to Natalie Chanin's garments which create work for an in need population while reviving their regional handwork this exhibit is really worth a visit.

On Sunday I drove out to Knit, Long Island and had the most lovely day teaching a room of 16 ladies how to work Undulating Waves.  I have to say, this was the first beaded design I did and it is not the easiest!  I really worked them until they all understood the concept.  Many of them were deep into the first few repeats of the scarf by the end of the day.  
A table of knitters working away!
I'm always so impressed when students come to learn a new technique and just keep trying until it makes sense to them.  Here is one of my students (Malina!) before the lightbulb went on for her... thinking she wasn't so in love with me at the moment! 
Malina having a GREAT time!
Here's Audrey (one of Knit's three owners) blogging me while I blog her:
Audrey and I blogging each other!
And here are two of my lovely students, Nancy and Susan:
Susan and Nancy!
I'm sorry that I didn't get pics of everyone, I was too busy teaching, and getting to know some of Long Island's knitters... but it sounds like I'll be back there in the spring, and I can't wait!

9.21.2010

M'am, I love the Tin Smith's Wife!

tinsmith

Well, I'm just back from a weekend of teaching at one of the loveliest shops I have ever been to.  The Tin Smith's Wife in Comfort, Texas creates an atmosphere that is inspiring, inviting and stash enhancing!  (yes, I came back with yarn...) I met Wendy and Susan two years ago when they started their store and began to carry Schaefer Yarn.  It felt like Susan was calling every week to get more as her customers were just "eating" it up!  We always talked about me coming down there to see the store, and lead some classes, and luckily for me, we made it happen! 

eventide

The space I taught in, a refurbished  building nestled between an old saloon and a bed and breakfast was the PERFECT teaching space.  With high ceilings and tons of light flooding in from the street side windows we all were thrilled.  The best part of this building was the super sweet "outhouse", definitely the nicest outhouse I've ever had the pleasure to use.
outhouse

My students were brilliant, wonderful learners who bore with me as I made them buckle down to work.  Saturday am I taught Eventide to a full house, and in the afternoon Aile.  On Sunday I taught Winterlude all day.  Some students took every class with me, a huge honor, and by the end of the weekend I learned as much from them as they did from me.    I wish I had more pics of the classes in progress (and any at all of my Winterlude group on Sunday)... but I was busy teaching and getting to know all of my new friends! 

eventide_class
The Eventide Group

aile
The Aile Group

aile_closeup
An Aile in progress (sorry I forget whose hands these are!)

Wendy was the perfect hostess, who thought of everything to make my stay delightful... she even took me on a drive Sunday night to try to find a Texas longhorn and/or an armadillo.  We didn't find either of those BUT we did have a HUGE (to me) scorpion try to hitchhike a ride home with us one night.... EEK!  

The Tin's Smith's Wife already posted a great synopsis of the weekend, stop over and take a peek, Bill took a pic of me being "crazy knitting lady" during the Schaefer Yarn Yarn Tasting and Trunk show of my designs.  It was seriously hysterical : )!

church  

The town of Comfort, Texas is too insanely cute for words.  If you ever make it to San Antonio or Austin, you must take a trip up to Hill Country.  The food is amazing, the buildings are architecturally stunning, the antique stores had piles of rusty metal that made me swoon, AND there is an amazing yarn store, how can you go wrong?  There are additional pics on flickr if you'd like to see more of Comfort and my classes.

Oh, and I have to tell you about the food... so when you get down to The Tin Smith's Wife you know what not to miss!  First off Wendy treated me to THE BEST breakfast taco Sat am at the Flagstop Cafe (read truck stop).  This is the kind of place you would never stop unless you knew about it.  I love going out to eat with a local!  On Sat lunch, on the advice of Ithaca knitter/friend Kathy, I had my first ever Jalapeno Pimento Cheese sandwich at High's Cafe right in Comfort.   Saturday night Wendy treated me to something extra special, with a dinner at The Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch.  We were just driving along, turned onto a back road, drove a while more (I think I thought we were going to some local bar...)and all of a sudden up a long fenced driveway to a heavenly brick oven outdoor dining wonderland.  YUMMM!!  Sunday night we all went out together to Bill's favorite restaurant, PoPo's.  The fried chicken, baby beets and biscuits were just right. And they had their plate collection displayed all, and I mean ALL, over the restaurant which set the perfect ambiance.  Hungry yet?

Finally, a HUGE thankyou to all of my new Texas knitter friends, you really helped this New Yorker fall deeply in love with the Hill Country. Yes m'am, I'll be back!

9.20.2010

I'm Back with a Winner!

Howdy Y'all!  

I'm back from the Hill Country of Texas, and have so much to share with you!  While I write a post about my wonderful trip I wanted to drop and in and let you know who the winner of the Brave New Knits giveaway is.

CONGRATULATIONS: 
#59 Amy (rav ID: knitterofhats) 


Back to processing photos, unpacking my suitcase, catching up on e-mail and getting ready to leave again on Friday! (for Knit on Long Island)

p.s. there is a giveaway on Knitty's blog for the yarn to make Mythos!  It ends tomorrow night, so get on over there....

9.15.2010

Brave New Knits- A Giveaway

I've been keeping something to myself for a little while that it's time to share with you!  Have you heard about Brave New Knits by Julie Turjoman?  Ever since my advance copy came it's been my bedtime reading.  I am having such a good time reading in depth about old friends, learning more about new friends, and discovering some designers I want to call friend.  It's been so enjoyable that I've been rationing the book one chapter at a time so it doesn't go too quickly.  The book is broken up into 26 sections with an in depth interview of each designer/blogger and their project. The hardest part is not flipping ahead to see who is coming next... good fun, I tell you! 

Of course, I want to share with you the Working All the Angles Blanket designed by Kristi Porter with Schaefer Yarn that combines 3 colors (Margo Jones, Julia Child, and Elena Piscopia) and 3 fibers (Nancy, Danya and Miss Priss).  I love that Kristi designed this blanket in sections so that you can take it with you as you are knitting it, and then put it together with a three needle bind-off once all the pieces are done.  Brilliant for an on the go project!  
I have a copy of the book to give away, and thought I would combine that with a skein of yarn so that you could make something right away!  I had a blast coming up with which one of Schaefer's yarns would work with the most possible patterns in this book....  and the winner is Heather!  With one skein of Heather you could make: 
The Orchid Thief Shawlette by Ysolda Teague
OR

The Hydrangea Neckwarmer by Anne Hanson
OR
Chutes and Ladders by Chrissy Gardiner
OR
Lubov by Kathy Veeza (aka Grumperina)

Leave a comment by Monday Sept 20th at 5 pm, I'll use the random number generator to choose a winner for Brave New Knits and a skein of Schaefer's Heather when I get back from Texas. I'm off to wind yarn for the flight AND dust off my cowboy boots.....

Photographs copyright 2010 by Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed.

9.09.2010

It's time... to cast on!

Reading back I've realized I haven't shared that much about what I am currently knitting on my blog lately.  Rest assured, I've been super busy!  I've got a few new designs ready to roll out in the next few weeks.  Also I have been happily working on deadlines for secret projects (which are almost done!) and submissions for the next round of secret projects.  

In the middle of submissions I came up with a design I decided I liked too much to not make immediately.  So, I didn't send it off (I'm such a rebel)! I swatched, and swatched a bit more, and have come up with a concept and edging I am really excited about.  I am feeling so good about this one I even already have a name for it! Unless, of course, I change my mind....

vest_working 
Happy New Year's to those of you who celebrate Rosh Hashanah.  We are heading off for a few days to The Gunks (just a river's span away from the home of NYS Sheep and Wool!) with apples and honey to celebrate.  The new design will be with me, along with my hubby's sweater I started last winter.   He is starting to REALLY want it now that there is a chill in the air, so I better get cracking.  Camping, biking, knitting, what a perfect way to bring in the new year!

Oh, and I keep forgetting to mention that I'll be in Comfort Texas at The Tin Smith's Wife next weekend teaching three classes, Aile, Eventide AND Winterlude.  A HUGE box went out to them yesterday with all my teaching supplies, models and swatches for the yarn tasting (aka PARTY Knitter's Style) Saturday night.  I'm really looking forward to discovering the Hill country of Texas.  There is a first time for everything!

9.02.2010

A Back to School Treat!

  
It's "back to school" time here and I just had to share this hysterical clip from a 1974 Carol Burnett Show with the Jackson 5.  There is much to be amused by in it: Carol's teaching style, the music lesson, the outfits (I can't decided which I am more enthralled with; the sleeves on Michael's shirt or the pants!), or Carol's dance moves at the end.  

Do you have any favorite video clips that inspire peels of laughter at your house?  Please do share, we could use some giggles as we get back into the school groove!