Saturday, December 29, 2007
1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. I’m a procrastinator! It took me weeks to get started on this meme.
2. I used to be a fine arts major. Knitting has taken the place of painting.
3. I seriously wish I had a personal assistant and a cook. Guess I've been watching too much Kimora in the Fab Lane!
4. I’m a Beatle freak. I remember their Ed Sullivan debut. I was so crazy about them my parents agreed to go to Sunday school late that night so that I could see them. Their music is still “happy music” for me. I have most of their albums still, had all the 8-tracks, then all the CDs. Now I have everything on the iPod. (Wow, I just dated myself!)
5. I’m a news junkie. I love me some Hard Ball.
6. Mom made my clothes from my birth until I moved away to go to graduate school. She is a professional seamstress and spoiled me for all manner of clothes from playthings to professional suits: deep hems, finished seams with wide allowances, linings in most things, and best of all, clothes perfectly tailored for all of my preferences, tastes, and physical idiosyncrasies. Mom taught me how to sew but I hated it. HATED. IT. Random fact #6 - This may bring me back:
It’s made of felt, which means minimal sewing, I hope. The edges are raw, not stitched or any other way hemmed. That is in antithesis to the tailoring Mom used to do for me, but this is me sewing, OK? The cutting would have to be perfectly straight, but a straight edge and one of those cutter wheel thingies Martha Stewart touts should work, don’t you think?
Mom has most of the latest Vogue Patterns at home. I’ve discovered a slew of articles applicable to knit design and sizing. I didn’t know they were online! DUH! Well, of course they are! Isn’t everyone and everything? I didn’t know you could look at and order patterns online! I didn’t know some of y’all order fabric online! Lord, another reason to live in cyberspace. Didn’t I have enough reasons? BTW, Mom knits too, and knits well, but she hates it. HATES. IT.
7. I have an aunt and uncle younger than I am.
I’m tagging the following seven: Olga, Nancy, Digital Leaf, Barb (where you been???), Francesca, Stacey, and Janet.
I know some of you are busy with the upcoming TNNA and other stuff, so please don’t feel obligated to participate if you don’t want to.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I attended a Habu Trunk show at Woven Art while I was there. Man what a show! It consisted primarily of the garments designed and knit by Setsuko Torii found in Setsuko Torii Hand-Knit Works.
ETA: The Japanese-language book is still available at Yesasia.com and Amazon Japan. There is no English-language version and no plans to publish one at the moment. I have it from a good source that only 2000 books printed.
Habu Textiles. The pix I took don't do the garments justice - they are truly breath-taking individual works of art and innovation. I spent the first hour looking and staring - awestruck really. I was on sensory overload. Then I finally started trying things on, much later remembering to take pictures. My first impression years ago of most clothing made with Habu yarn was that they were best suited for smaller frames, but after watching everyone try them on, it quickly became apparent that practically every piece flatters every figure and every age. They are classic and timeless.
I can't choose a favorite. I loved some aspect of each piece: the careful color gradation knit into a jacket; the simple buttonholes created by enlarging and binding the opening of a stitch; the drapiness of the hand of knitted stainless steel or paper, or both together; unusual color combinations that would never have occured to me but really work; the innovation of a sideways knit making a deceptively simple jacket; or the rustling (a whisper) of a paper linen and stainless steel jacket when it moves. Design and concepts so simple in some cases that you wonder why you didn't think of it yourself.
The color gradation is created knitting different shades solid gray yarn at certain intervals. The yarn is not variegated.It was hard to choose a kit to buy. I finally settled on a new Torii design created after the book was published: a short wrap jacket with a shawl collar knit from DK wool and 2 tiny strands of ramie, and a white-on-white Kusha Kusha scarf.
I loved this cotton and stainless jacket.
The "Washi and Tsumugi" coat flattered everyone who tried it on. It doesn't hang in a boxy way, instead it skims the contours of the body. Everyone loved it.
A mohair pullover edged with heavier tsumugi combination silk gives the garment weight and drape unimaginable in mohair.
It is made of shosenshi paper and stainless steel, and rustles gently when you move in it.
This lovely Chinese Style Pullover is knit with two strands of shosenshi paper yarn in purple and khaki (actually green).
Photo from Hand-Work Knits.
The most astounding piece, for me at least, was the shippo tail tank.
The MC is purple paper linen, followed by gray, chartreuse, blue/grey I think, then chartreuse, tipped with a bit of gray again. The chartreuse was beautiful with the gray and purple. It's brighter than it appears in the photo, providing a brilliant contrast to the purple. I'd like to make this eventually, but will modify the tail somehow, perhaps placing it elsewhere and modifying the length.
Takako Ukei, owner of Habu, gave an interesting talk about the development of Habu yarn Friday night, and three hour-long classes on reading Japanese charts Saturday morning. Each class was packed. Takako was delightful. She has a wonderful sense of humor and a boatload of patience.
Takako is wearing a sideways knit cardi. She had a pattern for it, so it is probably available as a kit too.
There are more pictures here.
Woven Art was an excellent venue for the show and the class. There was plenty of room to display the collection and try things on. The table was just the right size for the class (and the lazy susan in the center was perfect for treats!) Nancy's shop is the kind of place where knitters just go to hang, have a cup of coffee and knit (or weave. or spin.) as I would do if I lived in Lansing or East Lansing. Nancy is a wonderful host and the knitters there are warm, friendly people with whom I felt immediately at home. (I'll see you guys again soon!)
Why oh why doesn't someone in the Washington Metro area host a Habu trunk show? I would happily attend again.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Did y'all ever watch The House of Eliott on A&E?
It's that time of year again...
Friday, November 30, 2007
ETA: Nail polish is Chanel Duo Platinum "Silver."
They really are warm even without the leather gloves.
Pattern: Pomatomus adaption, EZ sewn bind off make the thumb more comfortable.
Yarn: Sundara Sock Yarn, "Black over Plum;" I used less than one skein. Knitting these seemed endless, so I'm done with the Pomatomus pattern for a while.
They've been finished forever, but it's hard to take a photo of your own arm in opera-length gloves. I haven't mastered posing in front of the camera before the timer goes off - frankly, I haven't tried. Styling it just right seems daunting and time consuming though I know many of y'all do it all the time, and well.
My laptop also went on the blink for a while. I borrowed one from work, but wasn't the same (my pix, my music, my aps, my bookmarks - you know). Dell replaced my monitor, motherboard, and hard drive. I had to buy an external hard drive to back up my data (no, I hadn't been doing that, but I will from now on cuz I had more shit on my computer than I thought!), install the operating system, drivers, and all my aps. Should have been plug and play, but it wasn't of course! Turned out OK: I saved all my data and the laptop works fine. Everything was under warranty except the monitor, but replacing that was far, far less than the cost of a new laptop.
Nancy's posts, cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and Ravelry's foodie group got me into food mode, so I've been reading food blogs. I think there are just as many of them as knitting blogs! And some good ones too. I have too many faves to list them all here. Let's start with Homesick Texan and The Traveler's Lunch Box. Y'all may be seeing some food pix soon.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Yarn: Twisted Fiber Arts, colorway: Arial
Needles: US 1 DPNs
Pattern: Merlot Vine Socks, Anne Hanson; Yarn4Socks Sock Club, October 2007
Modifications: Added a couple of lace repeats. Had a LOT of yarn left over. Love the lacy rib cuff.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I have two skeins of it. I bought the first skein at 50% off at Purl Soho about 3 years ago. It was lying in a pile of sale yarn like trash. This was my first encounter with Habu and I had no idea this purchase was the beginning of a Habu obsession. And I had no idea what I'd make with it. People were making handbags out of it, which didn't quite fit the bill for me at the time, so it sat in stash. Olga recently double stranded it with some lavender Habu Tsumugi silk to make Setsuko Torii's coat and I realized this slightly heathered pairing would make the perfect skirt for a similarly colored jacket I bought this summer at Babette in San Francisco. Olga has warned that this may not make the best fabric for a skirt since neither linen nor silk has any memory, but I will give it a shot anyway. So she suggested sewing a lining slightly smaller than the skirt. When I was working on the linen stitch skirt, both Sahara and Olga suggested knitting very large swatch to abuse (stretching, pulling, throwing it in the handbag, then washing) to see how it will hold up. I'll do the same this time. I also have some pink Harrisville New England Shetland that might knit up will with it.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Hand dyed by Karida, owner of the Neighborhood Fiber Co.
A portion of the sale of each skein goes to the Anacostia Watershed Society, a non-profit that works to clean up the Anacostia River.
I bought it at a party last night that Knit Happens hosted for Karida. As you can see they sold tons of the yarn, and it's no wonder. It's soft and the colors are luscious!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Ambassador Gisladottir is a serious woman. In her brief talk she described her efforts to secure Iceland a seat on the UN Security Council and her efforts to reach out to African countries. She described herself as a feminist who believes in the positive power of women, and also talked about her efforts to bring together a group of women from the Middle East to discuss that region's pressing issues. Gisladottir's sense of style does not detract from the work she's doing on behalf of her country. My pictures don't do her justice, but she looked great in this coat, cropped pants and heels. We're told to avoid horizontal stripes for the most part, but it worked for her. As Tim would say, she owned the look. Her makeup was subtle and emaculate, hair - perfectly highlighted. She also had on a funky three-stranded rubber and silver choker.
The ambassador's wife, Mrs. Jonsson also looked great in this little leopard print knit dress. It had a fuzzy little halo that must make it a very cozy dress for evening. It's hard to see the front of the belt, but it was about 8 inches wide. The slingbacks were a very subtle bronze metallic that matched the spots on the dress.
It was not a gauche topic for the Spaniard and Italian participating in a project I closed in Seattle last week. Over dinner, Rosa, a Spanish judge and law enforcement official (also a serious professional woman), freely told us about her 70 pairs of shoes that she has neatly organized so that she can wear them all. And Roberto from Italy said his male friends all wanted him to bring back Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts, now all the rage in Italy apparently. In his opinion, A&F t-shirts were not so great for women, so he shopped for his wife elsewhere. Then they got into this huge discussion about how American sizes are so confusing. I didn't take pictures of them and should have done, especially of Rosa hiking up the hilly streets of Seattle in the four inch heels she bought a Nine West!
Back to the reception, an attache from the Swedish Embassy had on a black pants suit with white blouse, accessorized with a black handbag with brightly colored tulips printed on it. Maybe wild accessories are a way to liven up that Washington uniform. We could knit some.
Friday, October 19, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, some work colleagues and I took the train from Washington to spend the day with one of our program partners, the International Visitors Council of Philadelphia. I thought I would take note of any yarn shops I saw there, with the idea of visiting them later. We were met at the train station by Ben Franklin, Council President Nancy Gilboy, and Senior Program Officer Ron D'Alonzo, Senior Program Officer,
then taken on a tour of Philly. We toured Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
We also toured the new National Constitution Center, an interactive history museum of the American Constitution. There's a cool room of life size statues of the Constitutional Convention Delegates situated through out as if they were discussing the issues at hand.
The room is open for visitors to walk among the delegates and pose for pix.
Finally we went to see the Liberty Bell.
Independence Hall seen through the window.
We went back to the Council's offices for meetings, when Nancy saw my Habu Kusha Shawl on needles sticking out of my tote. Turns out she knows the owner of Loop! Nancy is one of those persons that Malcolm Gladwell describes in The Tipping Point as a "connector." With no hesitation at all she pulled out her Treo, made a couple of calls to find out if the owner was there, the store's hours and address, and the next thing I knew I was in a cab on my way there! That the shop was scheduled to close in 25 minutes did not deter her. Thank you, Nancy!
Loop is beautiful little shop with yarn from inexpensive to tres chere displayed in bookshelves on both side walls from front to back. It's all white, light woods, and bright, which really shows off the yarn to full advantage. The yarn is neatly shelved, and arranged so that when you are standing away from the shelves all you see is end balls of color, no ball bands. There two inviting sofas facing each other with a coffee table in the middle of the store with the latest knitting magazines and yarn.
Love the little wall installations!
The very friendly and helpful Kathy and Laurie greeted me.
We had a nice chat about yarn and patterns in the few minutes I was there, and I bought some Koigu and some DB Cashmerino to play with.
I hope to go back soon.
I made back to the reception held in our honor at the Marriot.