Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All the Young Dudes

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Color is music to your eyes—Kaffe Fassett

As ever, Kaffe has nailed it. Little wonder that so many knitters I know are or have been musicians, including me. Or at the very least, music aficionados. Ted knows more about classical music than almost anyone I know, except for my friend Chris Gately. I’d love to see the two of them compete on a Music Jeopardy.

Yes, all the young dudes were at Easton Mountain in upstate NY this weekend for the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat. I think it’s wonderful that the guys get together, without the chicks, to enjoy each other’s company, learn from each other, and run around naked. Yeah, they do. I have that on good authority. I am sorry I didn’t Joe, Ted, Lars, Stephen, Sean, and whoever else is going. But I’m going to meet Peter Jobson on Thursday! Nanna and I have been “cyber friends” for years and I’m excited that he’ll be passing through my neck of the woods on his way to Philly. I missed out on meeting Mary Helen two years ago so at least I’ll get to meet one of my Aussie friends.

Death Cab for Cutie

Great name for a band. Some of my favorite band names are Talking Heads, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and the Dead Kennedys. I was thinking that the perfect name for a knitting list would be Death Cable for Cutie.

Except that the lists are all traveling in their own death cabs. Little wonder, given the social networking that has become the trademark of Web 2.0. Folksonomy. That’s a word you may not yet know but is a portmanteau of folk and taxomony. Social tagging.

I’m guilty of being a Twit and a FaceBook addict, although I rarely IM anyone and I never text-message, leaving that to Liz, who seems to have spastically magic fingers as only the young do these days.

Ravelry has certainly become the gigunda list of all time, encompassing the KnitDweebs and the rest of us with functioning brains and modicums of taste. In fact, I have not been on Ravelry in almost a year, for many reasons. One is time. I can shit Twits out from my BlackBerry but I can’t access Ravelry from work, since my work laptop is tightly controlled by the company for which I consult.

In some respects, the impending death of the lists isn’t a big surprise. For many people, writing an e-mail these days lacks the immediacy and the exposure that the social networking sites give to users. I’m talking about instant gratification, the disease that affects many of us, me included. I’m not predicting the death of blogs yet; however, FB entries are known to tech peeps as mini-blogs. There is a lot of truth to that. I can nail an FB or Twitter “What are you doing” in a nanosecond at virtually any time.

Where I used to get several Socknitters digests a day, now I might get one every couple of days. Frankly, I rarely had time to read them. If the lists want to survive, they will have to move from Yahoo Groups to FaceBook Groups. Otherwise, the old-time lists as we knew them will take a death cab trip into cyber history. Where they belong, I think.

Sit ‘n’ Spin

For some reason, I’ve been more interested in spinning recently than in knitting, although I’ve picked up my knitting here and there. I suppose spring and MS&W purchases have something to do with that.

I’d like to spin some silk to knit another scarf like the one I made for my friend Susan last year.

The pattern stitch came from Heirloom Knitting. It worked well with the handpainted silk and it was enough of a challenge to keep my interest piqued (not “peaked,” which is how I’ve seen too many people spell it). This is some of the silk I bought in MD. I'm hoping to get it all spun by the end of next month so I can get cracking on the scarf.

Granddoggie Bailey

Yes, I'm a Grammy again. To a petite canine who charmed this cat lover to the nth degree.

That's Bailey with his momma Jenn. Bailey's a Pomeranian. Fluffy, foxy, and teeny. We loves Bailey, preciousss. He's quite rare and handy. Must off to bed go. It's after midnight, I've been fucking around with FaceBook, playing Bejeweled and doing badly, and now my allergies are screaming "Zyrtec."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

MD Sheep Shit and Mud

Best Quote I Heard All Day
To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was tautology--Mark Twain

God knows there were throngs of both at MD. I won't be going to MD again. Frankly, the thrill of insane women throwing themselves into already crowded booths, with or without strollers, has lost its charm for me. MD is far worse a venue than Rhinebeck. Why I thought it had perhaps gotten better in the ten years since last I attended is a mystery. 

I fully understand why newbies want to go. You'll never see such wares in one place. If you have not, then do so once. 

I'll stick with Rhinebeck, which is a far better festival.

None-da-less, I was happy to see BJ and Carol, albeit briefly. I bought what I wanted and got out of Dodge at noon. Here's what I bought. Not much.

Two Golding spindles. Bottom is the Celtic Knot, the top is Bali Sweetheart #8, which has a Russian insert. This is a one-of-a-kind. Below is the picture that the Goldings have on their website.

It's .87 ounces. Perfect for what I spin.

No, I didn't buy the Ladybug. Decided against it. Instead, today I ordered something else online from Halcyon that will be far more useful to me. When it shows up, hopefully by Friday, you'll see it.

The fiber at the festival seemed to be merino-heavy. I did find some lovely silk, though. The little bags below are about a half-ounce each. They'll be spun for a scarf similar to the one I made last year.

And here's some more silk. This is tussah. 

Of course, Jerry was with me. And he thoroughly enjoyed himself, asked lots of questions, and was blown away by the Golding Shepherdess wheel. Jerry gets the whole fiber deal. And finds it interesting. 

He wandered away frequently to look at something. Thank God he's tall. Otherwise, I would have lost him in the crowds.

Finally, on the way out, I spotted this stuff--70% wool, 30% seacell. I bought enough to make a short jacket or vest.

Of course, when I'm going to find the time to do all of this is a major question. But I'll find the time.

The good news is, I will be doing some writing for Spin-Off. Amy Clarke Moore has asked me to write for her, and I will. An interview with a secret celebrity will be forthcoming. And I have other articles to pitch to her, as well. I'll keep you posted as to who, what, when, and where.

I didn't take too many pictures of the event itself. What was more important to me than going to MD S&W was the event of the next day.

Will You Still Love Me, When I'm 64?
Or when I'm 59? On Sunday, the weather was so foul, Jerry and I headed down to Virginia to see one of my oldest and dearest friends, Peggy Carroll Fallon. We've been friends since 1965, when she was a freshman and I a sophomore at Montclair High School in NJ. 

We were the writing wunderkind back then. We wrote poetry together, played in the orchestra together ('cello for her, violin for me), and shared life beyond that, when we had our children Danny and Jenn, Melissa and Corinne, literally at the same time. Then Peg married Bill, her second husband, had two more kids, and they moved to Virginia, to an 1865 farmhouse. 

Sometimes, even though you haven't seen someone in three years, it's just a nanosecond. Prior to that, we had lost each other for 25 years. Now, we're together again. The only thing missing was the third piece--our Dottie. 

The love of a friend is inestimably rare and handy. Leaving her on Sunday was like ripping my arm out of its socket. But we'll be together again, shortly. Because I'm going back to old Virginny soon.