Thursday, October 30, 2008

New York, New Yarn 2008

Whew! I just flew in from New York and boy, are my arms tired! ( Sorry, I couldn't resist.) Actually, I flew Porter from Toronto to NY this time and I can't recommend it enough.

Complimentary beverage and snack on an hour and a half flight? Yeah!

For those outside of of the G.T.A, Porter is a tiny little airline that flies from the tiny Toronto Island Airport just a tiny ferry ride from downtown. Everything about the experience was very pleasant and civilized, which is quite the opposite of most airline experiences (um, is there any wonder Zoom no longer exists?). Plus, the flight attendants have pillbox hats. Pillbox hats!

Anyhooz, I didn't just knit on the plane, I went to New York city, baby! I knit at the Gershwin hotel, where I strongly approved of the photos in the hallway:

Excuse me? We're trying to have a conversation here!

I did a bit of knitting in Little Italy with some espresso and a cannoli:

...and did absolutely no knitting at the WFMU record fair. If anyone knows of a way to flip through a crate of records whilst knitting, please let me know.

(If you're not into records, just squint and pretend it's a fibre festival)

I did however spend a lot of time walking around Manhattan carrying my knitting. While the other tourists were taking pictures of the Empire State building (been there) and Times Square (done that) I found myself taking pictures of stuff like this:

Um, isn't weird that I find more varieties of Canada Dry in America than Canada?

And how about this?

I couldn't find a single trace of John McCain anywhere. New Yorkers - god bless 'em!

And in typical New York style, their flatiron building insists on being taller and thinner than our flatiron building;

(Though in typical Toronto style, ours is probably cleaner and more apologetic.)

Look at me, prattling on about soft drinks and architecture when I should be telling you about Habu and School Product and Purl (oh my!). Next post, I promise. Cliffhanger!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

There'll be no More Botches for Girls who Knit Swatches

It's been swatch fever here at Casa de Knitteroo. I've been on a bit of a design kick lately. Instead of my usual routine of letting the ideas bounce around in my head with all of that other non-knitting (non-important?) information like the economic crisis and how to poach a good egg, I thought I'd bust out the needles.

Unfortunately, I don't particularly enjoy sharing half-baked ideas works-in-progress. It's not for fear of design thievery, I just want to avoid pushing the hatchling out too early, you know? Plus, Santa's on his way and and my x-mas knitting may very well put new pattern designs on the backburner. At least when the holiday madness is over I'll have some swatches to remind me what I was thinking before I decked the halls. Fah-la-la-la-la!

Speaking of knitted prezzies, my first argyles are taking about as along as the American election campaigns (Does anyone outside of Canada even realize we just had a federal election?). Despite the tediousness of the tiny needles and mess of bobbins, I can't help but smile each time I sit back to admire my work in progress. Argyle! Neat little diamonds of colour! This project hasn't been getting nearly enough of my attention lately but what with the holiday deadline and the recent temperature drop, methinks I shall be spending a little more time with the poor, wee thing.

This socks' days of posing with summer flowers are numbered!

In fact, I think I'll take the sock on a little trip. Me and Mr.Argyle (and the "real" boyfriend) will going to NYC this upcoming weekend for the WFMU record fair. Whee! I think I'll show him Habu and School Products and maybe Purl Soho... See? Working in a knitting store doesn't curb your appetite for yarn at all!

Appetite? Now maybe it's time to poach some eggs...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Let it be sew

Still nothing fantastical to report about my knitting of late, so how 'bout some other stitchery?

Pattern: "THE" Simplicity 4077
Fabric: Thrift store mystery
Notes/Mods: Really wanted to make the 3/4 sleeve version, but barely had enough fabric to make the wee ruffle!

First button holes!

I am pleased as punch with this blouse (I really despise the word 'blouse', but unfortunately it fits the bill). It may just be the first garment I have sewn from scratch that I will actually wear. In fact, I have already worn if a few times to rave reviews. I even received compliments on the top before people knew I made it myself. Sweet!

In an effort to give Martha a run for her money, behold yet another completed sewing project:



Note to self: must introduce accent colour to break up matchy-matchyness of living room

So (sew?) much better. My couch used to wear a lovely slip cover which I had screen printed with cowboy and cactus motifs. The ink didn't wear well (word to the wise: heat setting fabric ink is important) and after a while the cover was looking far too shabby to hold court in my living room. It just wasn't meeting the dress code. So like any good knitter/seamstress, I put "make new slip-cover" on my to-do list and promptly forgot about it. My couch remained "naked" for months.

100% polyester = no pre-washing + cat hair repellent - yay!

Big thanks to knitter extraordinaire and "colour genius" Barbara for turning me on to Designer Fabric Outlet. They even have an extensive online store! I'm still trying to figure out why I'd never been there before. Learn from my mistake - go! Shop! Sew!

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I have recently become a one-woman hat-knitting factory which unfortunately makes for snooze-worthy blog-fodder. (Wanna see a hat I've already knit? Wanna see it in red? How about green? Zzzzz...) For the sake of keeping us all alert, let's forgo the knit content for a bit and yack about some other stuff, shall we?

Last night marked the 3rd (?) annual Nuit Blanche event in Toronto. It's marketed as a "free all-night contemporary art thing" but really, it's just a bunch of drunkards wandering the streets trying to distinguish the art from the general landscape.

"Is that art?"
"Um, I think that might just be a plastic bag stuck in a tree."
"Yeah, but isn't Yoko Ono putting stuff in trees this year?"
"Maybe... take my picture with it!"

I laid low this year as I'm just getting over a cold, but I felt I had to do something, so I took a little walk around the 'hood. First up, and conveniently located down the street from my apartment: Pixel Gallery's "The Artillerist". You can read the fancy arty explanation in the link, but essentially, a group of artists re-vamped a Wii game! The controllers were embedded in plastic guns and custom digital brushes were created allowing participants to make kick-ass digital art on screens hanging in the gallery. Art not guns!

I'm armed with creativity!

Next I took a little stroll to Trinity Bellwoods park where Regine Schumann had an installation called "Glow worms":

As impressive as a park full of 1000 blinking red lights may be, it proves almost impossible to photograph. This exhibit was probably best seen early, as judging by the amount of people shoving lights down their pants, there may have been precious few "glowworms" left by dawn.

And lastly, I took part in something a little closer to home. The fruit market across the street from me recently closed down (no great shame, it was pretty crappy and there are two more on the same block). Rumour has it Starbucks is moving in. No big surprise to most, but Kensington Market isn't a Starbucks kind of neighbourhood. Not only that, but there are already at least six cafes in the area. Some bright individual put up "suggestion boxes".

I've always suspected Starbucks is somehow inherently evil, though I have no real proof. I wouldn't say I'm exactly anti-Starbucks, just anti-Starbucks in my neigbourhood. Grande Frappuccino? I'd be much happier if I could get an organic steak across the street.

Cross your fingers the Starbucks won't move in and drive up my rent!