Sunday, March 17, 2013

Drunken Dyeing at the Verdant Gryphon

I got the chance to do some dyeing at the Verdant Gryphon studio in Easton, MD, on Friday. A few results:

Skeins of these one-off colors will be available to purchase this week on the Verdant Gryphon site. Will anyone purchase the orange/forest green color or the left? I'm taken with its aggressive ugliness but am unsure about its wider appeal.

The trip to Easton was a much-needed escape from house-buying tasks and worries. Yesterday Chris and I attended a homeownership class at the Southeast Baltimore CDC, which we should have taken farther in advance. It was excellent, but it was scary. REALLY scary if you're closing on a house in a matter of days. I was fixated on the horror stories of last-minute credit checks and loan rejections and small mistakes that ruined creditworthiness:

"So what happened when he didn't pay the $10 minimum on that bill the week before closing? Did he get the loan? NO. He didn't. When his credit was run at closing, he was rejected."

I expect to feel right at the edge of vomiting until the papers are signed on Friday afternoon. It's where I'm living these days, keeping my fingers active knitting a huge garter stitch square for a design inspired by Kazimir Malevich in Sweet Fiber Yarns Cashmerino:

Onward to Friday, to success or disaster!

Friday, March 15, 2013

China Shipping

 At last, at last, the next installment of Container Ships: China Shipping!

The inspiration is the green, usually in various stages of rust, of the China Shipping containers I see in nearly every container ship photo and shipyard. I chose the colors of Bugga! for China Shipping when I was at The Verdant Gryphon open house, knowing that they would be a China Shipping-based project, but not knowing what the project would be.

Here are some of the inspiration photos, which both fascinate and frighten me. Global trade can be scary, for the environment, for labor, for the economy. However, there's something magical about huge amounts of cargo circling the globe toward their ultimate destinations.

What better place to take photos than my new neighborhood in Baltimore?

If you're part of the Container Ships club, you've already received the pattern. If you're not, you can join and receive China Shipping and the previous three Container Ships patterns, as well as future patterns (I'm currently at work on an accessory) for $13:

The individual pdf for China Shipping is now available through The Verdant Gryphon. It will be available as a pdf on Ravelry in a month. Because the colors I used are not standard Verdant Gryphon colors, you can special order them through Monday! AND you get 5% off when you order three or more skeins of Bugga! in ANY colors (think of the possibilities for this cardigan!).

The colors are:
A: Canada Darner
B: Owl Moth
C: Blue Duke

See them here.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Sermon: Mystery KAL Complete!

Here's the finished product from my very first knitalong, The Sermon, a collaboration with Neighborhood Fiber Co. 

Very long, very black. My Sermon was worked in the Cool Blacks colorway, which best suited my theme. You can see photos of other colorways on Ravelry.

The pattern is now available as an 18-page pdf containing all six sections. Each section has its own quotes, theme, and design, thanks to my sister's graphic design talent and Matt Kish's drawings. I even included some of my photographs from 1996, when I was an art major working with a large-format camera and manipulating negatives.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this knitalong. I was certain that everything about the idea was unmarketable, but I learned not to underestimate knitters' curiosity and adventure.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Contest winner and my new neighborhood!

Congrats to Robyn! You have won a copy of Woodsmoke & Ash! Send your address to Andrea at!

In other news, we are less than a month away from closing on a HOUSE in Baltimore. Life is changing so quickly these days; lately it seems that when I'm not working I'm handling some huge life decision. Routine tasks punctuated by first-ever decisions! Deleting commas, gathering paperwork for final mortgage approval! Editing questions about homeowners insurance, getting proof of homeowners insurance!

Our new house in is the Penn North neighborhood. The other day I walked from our current apartment through Penn North to go to the Target at Mondawmin. I got some great photos.

A few blocks down on North Avenue (check out how bowed that building is!):

North Avenue, around the corner from our street:

In the next block of North Avenue, there's been some awesome rehabbing:

A tavern/package store in Druid Heights, south of Penn North, with owners that are really serious. I loitered only briefly to get the photo:

Our street is better maintained. Here it is!

And here's our HOUSE!

Inside photos coming soon! I love Baltimore!!!