Friday, August 28, 2009

Treasures from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Volume I

Thanks for all the happy vacation wishes; it was fabulous. I worked no jobs. Hooray for no jobs!

I found treasures galore. I spent several hours with Rita, the dyer behind Yarn Hollow yarns, and got to paw through all her yarn and fiber bins. Ranging from semi-solid to pastels and rich, saturated variegated colorways, from wool/silk/silver fingering weight to bulky to cottons to merino/tencel blends, her yarns are a wonder to behold. I came back to Boston with, well, more than I could fit into my suitcase, and have skeins for future projects lined up on my floor right now.

Trust me, this is a tiny fraction of what I saw.

I took several trips to the Fulton Street Farmer's Market, which is also an Artist's Market, where I bought perfect handmade ceramic buttons from paperpeacock for a new design:

Handmade soaps from Bars by Bellini; she has so many man-friendly scents. All that Yarn Hollow yarn smells like clove and agave now:

And some woodblock cards from the Beerhorst Family:

If you live in GR, GO to the market. If you live nearby, take a trip! If not, all this is available online; the artist community in GR is unlike anything I remember when I lived there, and this trip was full of serendipitous moments and discoveries.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bicycle Boy, the post where the hat drama comes to an end.

Last year Chris mentioned that he would like me to knit him a hat with some sort of bicycle chain motif on it, and I, of course, agreed. Several terrible swatches involving cables that attempted and failed to curl, snail-like, around the hat, one completely failed cable hat, and one moderately successful fair isle later, I was still acutely dissatisfied.

But Chris rather liked the moderately okay fair isle hat and started wearing it, and whenever he did its design flaws, its pointy, too-square crown, its exaggerated pattern, its unintended stretch and floppiness, made me cringe.

So I took it away. And hid it. And told him he would soon have another, improved bicycle chain hat. That was in January 2009.

When I finished the pattern for Bluebird and forced Chris to admire it and make flattering comments about my design skills, he finally cracked and said, "HONEY, BLUEBIRD IS GREAT, BUT WHERE IS MY ******** CHAIN HAT!??????"

Here it is. The fair isle pattern is the chain, and the crown decreases mimic the chain ring.

You can make one, too! Hannah already has (thank for the test knit and edits!), for a friend who is traveling across the country by bike... you can read more here.

And you can get the pattern for $2.50 here:

P.S. I'm off to Michigan to see my family for a week as of tomorrow after work!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A day off at the cool blue ocean

Nahant, Massachusetts, the "40 Steps" beach:

We sat on the rocks. Chris worked on evening out his bicycle boy tan (I call him "Hank Hill").

I swam out to sea.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lil' Sis Other Weaverknits

Is moving to Providence to get her master's degree at RISD this fall! I drove her down there to find a place to live... here she is, calling her new housemate. Great success!

I worked on a new pair of socks while we had a celebratory beer at Trinity. I think I'll be visiting Providence just to drink beer there. The socks are Sunday Swing from the summer knitty... I liked the way the pattern looked in the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, so I dug some out of my stash in the colorway Flames to create the same look.

I'm off to enjoy my day off from the bakery with Other Weaverknits!