Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Book: Knitbot Essentials


I recently filled up my Gather Here frequent maker card, which then becomes a $25 gift card to the shop! My favorite thing to treat myself to is new pattern books, and this time I went for Knitbot Essentials. I fell in love with the simple, wearable designs and the focus on drape. Every pattern in this book calls for needles larger than generally recommended for each yarn weight, creating lovely, drapey fabric. I am busy knitting away for Bazaar Bizarre right now, but I am planning on packing this book for my vacation knitting in January. I've even picked out specific patterns and yarn, so I can make myself some pretties!


Top: Trail Jacket, yarn is Toil & Trouble Merino/Cashmere/Nylon Bulky in Melisandre (Fall 2012 Yarn Club colorway, available to the public in January)

Bottom: Lightweight Pullover, yarn is Toil & Trouble Merino/Nylon Sock in Hecate

I can't wait! Do you like to take crafty projects with you on vacation?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

Hello friends! I hope those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving had a great holiday weekend. Ours was a quiet weekend, with pie, knitting, and books. I even had time to write some holiday cards!


As small business supporters, we kept our distance from the Black Friday madness. We did make one exception though - books! After lunch, Nate and I spent some time at the bookstore and I came home with four new ones. Strangely, they all had orange covers. A lovely reader recommended Kingsolver's Lacuna, and since I love Frida Kahlo I had to have it!

The Gather Here Sandy Relief Raffle ended on Thanksgiving, raising a total of $4,413! Totally amazing! You can check out the lucky winners here. Thank you to everyone who donated prizes and/or money.

How did you spend the weekend? Did you brave the Black Friday lines and crowds?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Meeting Barbara Kingsolver

Last week, I went to see Barbara Kingsolver in Cambridge. She read from her new book, Flight Behavior, and had a discussion about literature and environmental issues with the audience. She is a fascinating speaker. My favorite part was when she talked about leaving her PhD work to become a writer. She said there was a moment when she realized that if she worked really hard and did a great job, her dissertation would be read by 11 people. She then left academia because she wanted to reach out to more people.

She has been one of my favorite authors since I read Poisonwood Bible many, many years ago. I also enjoyed Animal Dreams and Bean Trees. In this book, according to her own description, she uses the stories of people to discuss an issue no one wants to talk about: climate change.


Kingsolver said she loves first sentences. I have to agree with her - the first sentence can make or break a book. And how can you not love all the possibility contained in a first sentence?

It will take me a while to get through this book as I keep up with the fall schedule, but I'm excited for this read. Have you read any good books lately?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Recap: Twist Fair

Can you believe the holiday craft show season has already started? I kicked off my show season by heading to Twist Fair the first weekend of November. It was my first time in Northampton - I didn't have a chance to be out and about much, but I loved what I saw and can't wait to go back. Besides, I have to get to Webs sooner or later!


My favorite part of going to craft shows isn't selling my own work, but getting to see my fellow makers' work in person and picking wonderful things for myself to give as holiday gifts. This was my haul:

Handbound books by Rockpile Bindery / Bowl by Chrissy Ann Ceramics / Calendar, cards and magnets by Pressbound

Will you be supporting handmade this season? I'm not doing anymore events in November, but several of my friends will be at the Hingham Holiday Market next weekend. To see where I'll be in December, check out my schedule of events.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Inspiration

What a strange month it has been so far - hurricanes, snow, and such an incredibly packed schedule. Last weekend, I traveled to Northampton for Twist Fair (pictures forthcoming) and this weekend I'll be at two trunk shows closer to home. On Saturday, I'll be at Seed Stitch in Salem from 12 pm to 4 pm, and on Sunday I'll be at Gather Here in Cambridge, along with several other dyers and spinners, from 12 pm to 6 pm.

I've been working on some new colorways for this season, and I'll be bringing them to this weekend's shows. How about a sneak peek?

Something girly - a pretty variegated pink and yellow, inspired by the Snapdragon flower, available here

And something geeky - striking monochrome inspired by Rorschach, available here


Rorschach image borrowed from here and Snapdragon photo borrowed from here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

After the Storm

It's a strange thing, figuring out this whole "first blog post after a natural disaster" thing. We were extremely fortunate. The whole Boston metro area was very fortunate compared to areas like New York and New Jersey, but our home was especially lucky. We didn't lose any power, or internet, or water. Our trees lost some branches, but they didn't cause any damage. Now that the storm is gone, I feel both thankful for my good fortune and heartbroken for those who were less fortunate.

Image borrowed from Elizabeth Duvivier

It's so bizarre to see how quickly life jumps back to it's regular pace. Tuesday morning, the Boston public transit system went back to functioning, and a couple of hours later you could hardly tell what had happened the day before. The city went back to talking about work deadlines, chores, and gossip, because it's easy to forget about all the devastation when it's not right in front of you. People are calling the storm a "dud" and criticizing the city of Boston for "over-reacting" - like there is such a thing as over-reacting to an unpredictably destructive force of nature.

Even though life keeps moving forward here, there is plenty those of us who were fortunate can do. Gather Here will be hosting a Red Cross fundraising effort and several local makers will be donating prizes. More information will be posted on their blog on Friday.

Wishing all of you well and hoping you are safe, warm and healthy.