Monday, August 16, 2010

Live From New Jersey! It's KC Crap Live!

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.--Dorothy Parker

I figured it was time for a quote from my favorite Jersey Girl, the divine Mrs. Parker.  Did you know Dot was an avid knitter? Reviewing a play, she said, "If you don't knit, bring a good book."

Tonstant Weaders--that's a Dot term, used when she reviewed an AA Milne book, one I'm sure you all know well: " It is that word 'hunny,' my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up."

I like to think that were she still with us, Dot would appreciate "KnitDweebs," "warshcloths," "X-Men," "Tiny Diva."

For the first time ever, I am going to take some knitting workshops.  Vogue Knitting Live, which makes Stitches look like the KnitDweebs' Carnival, has a phenomenal list of top knitting instructors (and a few duds, but fortunately not the two psycho designers I know and loathe).

As much as I hate living in Sopranoland--yes, I live around the corner from Pizzaland, a half-mile away from Satriale's Pork Store (torn down a few years ago), and close enough to the Jersey Turnpike and the Lincoln Tunnel to see all the landmarks in the opening sequence--living six miles from NYC is a big plus. I don't go to the city often these days, having been there/done that for my entire life. I'll be taking classes with Shirley Paden, Nancy Bush, Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen, and Kristin Nicholas, lectures by Nicky Epstein and Sally Melville.

I hope I don't fidget in class. If I do, the instructor is welcome to rap my knuckles. No, I didn't go to parochial school. Not a Catholic, but a lapsed Lutheran who was once caught chewing gum during the service.  Pastor Berkobin, that miserable old German, made me stand up in front of the congregation and decided it was time to make an example of me as a naughty girl.

Naughty girl. The story of my fucking life. When he first met my mother, Jerry asked her, "What kind of kid was Marilyn?"  My mother turns, gives me the Look, and says, "Difficult." Uh huh.

Obligatory Knitting Shit
Besides fucking around with charting a Shetland lace shawl, I've been working a new design I call the Wonderland Hooded Stole, using one of my favorite yarns, Blue Heron Rayon Metallic. My friend Patty was nice enough to model the scarf I designed with Rayon Metallic, Summer Meadow. I like real people as models. This will be available on my Etsy site once I get it all set up, as well as the Wonderland Hooded Stole.
The Wonderland Hooded Stole is coming along nicely. I love working with this shit!

I've discovered that the hood of my Elantra is the perfect place to shoot lace projects. Silver car, feh. I miss my purple Neon, the first new car I ever owned. Silver is so fucking boring...but I got a good price for the car so I live with the blandness.

The next design project is the Gansey socks redo. I know everyone wants me to offer multiple sizes but that may not happen, based on the stitch pattern repeats. I'll have to work it out.

Doing the Etsy thing seems to be a good idea. I'm not trying to make a living from my designs but I do want a coupla bucks for them. I'll be putting up freebies here, though, like I did with Leaves of Grass.

Farewell, Cleo
Those of you who are on my FaceBook Friends list know that I lost my beloved cat Cleo a few weeks ago.  Cleo became ill very suddenly, I rushed her to the vet's early on a Saturday morning, and it turned out that she had mammary tumors that had metastasized to her brain. The poor baby couldn't stand up. So I made that hard decision, stroked her and loved her up as the vet euthanized her. I was, and still am, heartbroken. I only had Cleo for five years, being her third owner. But she and I had that special, special bond. I'll probably get another cat. My friend Monica has one she'd like to give me. We'll see.

Question of the Week
I stole this from the Spin-Off e-mail newsletter because it made me think. Did you craft as a child? My mother Ellie, who taught me to knit, encouraged me to make things when I was very young, giving me modeling clay and crayons at age 3, a loop loom for potholders at 4, and by 5, I was making my own Christmas presents for my grandparents.

Mom was always challenged to keep me busy because I was an overactive kid, always getting into shit, especially her knitting bag. I loved the bright colors of the markers and would pocket one or two. Her darning egg, which I doubt she ever used, was fascinating. I remember her making a beautiful beaded collar to wear with her hand-knitted Chanel suit when she went to the opera. I wanted those fucking beads! Books, music, and making shit always keep me out of trouble, to this day. Were you a crafty kid? Tell us in the comments.

You Asked For It, Skanks!
The other day, I was sitting out in the yard with my iPod Nano, my knitting, and Sam, aka Countess von Puppelah. (Jerry's been calling her Puppelah from the day we got her, so he gets credit.)  It dawned on me that the Nano has a video camera. So I got an idea. Yeah. Take a video so that readers who haven't ever met me in person will get an idea of who I really am.

My hair is a mess, no makeup. Fuck, I look old. Well, so be it. I'm alive and still kicking butt. The video is totally ad libbed. I debated putting it up but then decided fuck it, up it goes. As Dot says in the quote, take me or leave me.

Rare and handy? Well, as Liz used to say, "maybe yes, maybe no."


Anonymous said...

okay; i laughed out loud. thanks.

maire in florida

Sharon said...

OMG, you fuckin' did it! Thank you Mar - you have made me a fan for life.

I got such a kick out of that video that I almost forgot to answer your question. Yes, I was sort of a crafty kid, although I just wanted to mess with supplies and wasn't into following directions much. When I became a serious knitter (somewhere in the last 10 years), I started putting the experience and wisdom of great knitters to use. The results are so worth it.

anne marie in philly said...

the language used is I why I never read "winnie the pooh"...too cutesy for my taste.

miss BBF and the adorable mr habit are also teaching vogue classes, I see; sweet!

I am so sorry to read about cleo; she was a pretty kitty and I know she had a happy life with you.

crafty dough, crayons, watercolors, paint-by-number sets, tinkertoys, the loop loom, alphabet beads, making chains from pop-tops (the kind that came OFF the can), board games, books and music. my maternal grandmother taught me to knit at age 13, but I didn't seriously have fun with knitting until age 47.

so that's who you are...fucking glad to know ya! LOL ;-)

Cheryl said...

As a youngster, my mother learned all of the skills befitting a Depression-era child and aspiring housewife. When I expressed an interest in any of them, she taught me. Putting it in terms of "Did you craft as a child?" sounds peculiar to me, though, sort of regimented. I just explored things that looked interesting, and my parents, God rest their souls, helped make that possible whenever they could.

FiberQat said...

Did I craft as a child? Mom was an artist and crafter so when she saw I had it in my blood she nurtured it as best she could without having to use her stash of oil paints. I had watercolors, a bazillion crayons, Tinkertoys, Legos, and PlayDoh. I made my own accessories like a jeans purse and a floppy brim hat, did cross stitch and needlepoint, latch hook and macrame. I made plenty of messes and had a lot of fun doing it.

Jamie said...

I was totally a crafty kid. I made my first quilt at age 5. I had my own mini sewing machine with a real needle! I always had a giant bucket of crayons and all kids of paper. My younger sister and I would put on "plays" with masks and costumes we had fashioned from paper. I was always sewing things - barbie clothes, american girl clothes, things for my giant doll house and of course myself! My "aunt" taught me how to knit around age 8 but I didn't really get into it until after college when sewing became my job and not my hobby. I needed something else to do with my hands!
I love you!

Julie Schuler said...

I've been on etsy a few years, it is a good way to make a coupla bucks. My favorite thing as a child was lots and lots of blank paper. I'm a drawer.

Anonymous said...

Question of the week: yes, I started crafting early in life, so early I do not remember learning to knit and crochet. But for a completely different reason: a LOT of down-time due to severe childhood asthma. Mother and Aunt-in-residence (post-war housing shortages) both very skilled. First pair of knee-high Patonyle socks achieved by age 13. Including turning the heels and grafting the toes. Poor health had the same effect on reading - by age three.

Losing a beloved pet is hard, especially when you have to face the big decision. Cleo had a good life, if too short, and you gave her all she wanted and needed.

Gae, in Callala Bay

Bonnita said...

Up until I was 10ish I was not a crafty kid. My mother is very uncrafty. But I remember my paternal grandmother crocheting, and I watched her and when I was old enough she taught me. I loved it, I ran with it. But even before that I would hold the skeins of yarn for her as she rolled them up, I thought it was magical. She always used a G hook, always. When she passed away my aunt and I divided all her hooks and whatever else she had. She had many knitting needles, but I never saw her knit. I didn't learn to knit until I was 40, and so here I am. That's it Mar, and fuck you back! ;o)

caroline said...

Mar? you rock. Jersey girls rule.

ali said...

You are just like I imagine and terrific for it.

Debbie said...

As usual, fabulous post. When you do end up on cable, I certainly hope DVDs will be available (including outtakes!) because I'm sure I won't be able to pick it up here in the sticks of VA.

As for crafting as a child, mom was a painter, but I never got into it. She taught me to crochet when I was about 9, but I held the hook overhanded and she held it like a pencil. After she told me so many times I was doing it "wrong", I quit. It took 30+ years and arthritis in her hands to come to change her ways and start holding the hook the way I did many moons ago. She said it didn't hurt as much. Mom saw creativity in everything, and although some of it passed to me, not as much as her. My "thing" now is knitting socks. But, in memory of mom, I do have the plaque that says "Always color outside the lines." She never scolded me for coloring outside the lines.

And BTW, was it planned for the very last scene of your wonderful "Fuck You" video to be a shot of Puppelah's ass?? ;)

Anonymous said...

I was crafty but my mother never taught me anything--she worked and wasn't interested in crafts. I kind of taught myself and have the bad macrame to prove it. By the way, I love the video. I grew up in my own Sopranoland (RI) and recently I was at a very wholesome Midwestern college, where everyone, adults and kids, gave me big hearty aggressively happy smiles. I was so sick of it I almost said "F... you" to someone, but didn't.

Denise said...

I'm very sorry about Cleo. I have a cat I special bond with, she just turned 10.

We had a litter of kittens we needed to find homes for. Bright Eyes hid every time someone came to get a kitten, until I thought they all had homes. She came out of hiding one day and jumped right on my shoulder as I was going up the stairs.

She has always left my yarn and fiber alone, but will sleep on an FO if left on the bed. The exception is the afghan my daughter made us out of acrylic then she'll sleep on my feather pillow. The cat has standards.

Barb B. said...

Crafty kid. never thought about it before, but yes I was. And if I asked Ma "can I do that?" she'd look over her glasses at me and say "you've got two good hands, why not?"
By the time I started school, I had knit baby booties, woven those wee potholders, did papier mache, made Ukrainian eggs, and I don't know what all else. Her philosophy was: if you're old enough to ask, you're old enough to learn.
It might have helped that Ma needed to keep us busy, she had so much damn work to do, no time to baby us! She had to haul the water and heat it on the wood stove, and there's a day's work right there. (The hill outside the house was only uphill one way though!)

stephanie said...

Yes to childhood crafting, thanks to my talented aunt. FYI, your voice IS distinctive. While I was watching the video, my husband thought it was my voice and kept asking me who I was talking to!

Karen said...

Oh shit, your video made me pee myself laughing. I had a really nasty day and I spent the past 15 minutes on the phone explaining to mother that sometimes saying "Fuck You" really loudly actually physically makes you feel better. If there was insulin for profanity, it would be "Fuck You".

Thank you. And Fuck You.

crow said...

God, that's a great video. Love your voice, too.

Yes I was a crafty kid. My mom was a grammer school teacher and liked to do crafty things herself, so there was plenty of material around the house. I was a Camp Fire Girl too so I learned bead weaving. Also sewed doll clothes, embroidered, wove pot holders on one of those little looms, drew all the time. My mom tried to teach me to knit but I didn't get it till later.

I'm sorry about Cleo, hard to lose them.

ChelleC said...

You are wonderfully eccentric. Loved the vid. You sound just as curmudgeonly as I'd hoped. Thanks for the laugh.

meowmom said...

Love it, love you! So sorry about Cleo.

Julie in Kentucky.