Thursday, September 27, 2012

Providential and luminous

Deborah Newton gave a slide-illustrated talk to the Slater Mill Knitting and Crochet Guild last night, about her three decades as a professional knitwear designer.

And she brought sample garments, designed for magazines like Vogue Knitting, Interweave, and Knitter's. Afterwards it was very touchy-feely, as everyone checked out the knitting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Songs (almost) without words, Part Two

By the time we'd crawled through the Peter Patchis warehouse o'yarns, it was time for lunch. Then--onward! We drove to Warren, about twelve miles outside of Providence, to our final destination, Bella Yarns.

Bella's organization of its yarns is simply clever:  machine washables on one side of the shop, hand-washables on the other.

What we bought, and where:

Fresh Purls:  Moi:  4 skeins of Berroco "Naturlin"; Neuroknitter:  1 skein of Jojoland Tonic in Nuclear Orange, 1 hank of Uniso sock yarn.

The Yarn Outlet:  Moi:  2 skeins of Aslan Trends "Santa Fe" (hand-dyed), 1 Hiyahiya #4 16" bamboo circular; Neuro:  1 hank of Fiesta Ballerina extremely fine lace weight, 2 skeins of Treasure Purlescent,  size 50 (!) needles.

Peter Patchis Yarns: moi:  0; Neuro:  3 lbs of 77% wool, 23% rayon fingering weight.

Bella Yarns: moi:  1 ball of Lang Yarns Jawoll Color Aktion; Neuro: 2 hanks of Araucania Ruca (100% sugar cane!), and a loom shuttle.

Put these emporia on your "worth the visit" list. Even if you don't find knitting yarn at Peter Patchis (I have found it there in the past), it's the kind of place where the inventory changes often, and its funkiness places it in the "interesting" category. And I am happy to report that all of the shops (save the Patchis warehouse) collect hand-knitted items for charitable donations to great organizations. Drop off  your Knit Something Day contributions (baby clothes only at Bella Yarns) whenever convenient!

Songs (almost) without words, Part One....

Neuroknitter and I set out on a self-devised Rhode Island yarn crawl last week. Our itinerary:  Fresh Purls (Providence), The Yarn Outlet (Pawtucket), Peter Patchis Yarns (Central Falls), and Bella Yarns (Warren).

Karen, the owner of Fresh Purls, delightedly displayed her new tattoo!


Please note the basket for knitted charitable donations below the needles!


Though this is a decidedly enticing vision, know that most of the yarn is for weaving, not conventional knitting.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Department of Good Works: a calendar

It came to my attention recently that St. Mungo's, a British organization dedicated to helping the homeless, has proclaimed October 26th Woolly Hat Day.  Volunteer knitters are asked to make 5,678 orange watch caps to be sold for fund-raising, and, according to its website "to be used to create a stunt."

The number of hats--5,678--represents the number of homeless people forced to sleep on London streets last year.

And, sooner than we think, Buy Nothing Day, a.k.a. Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), will be upon us. Faithful readers of this blog know that over the past few years I have publicly deplored the wretched excess of Black Friday, the day on which the holiday shopping season officially begins. It's not just that I'm philosophically opposed to conspicuous consumption and mindless spending on unnecessary stuff. It's also that in a world where so many lack food, shelter, basic services, and gainful employment, our society's materialism--and the consumerist frenzy it fuels in November and December--is profoundly disturbing.  Not to mention wrong.

Thus I've always encouraged my readers to re-conceptualize Black Friday as Knit Something Day.

Knit Something Day (23 November this year) is a day when knitters anywhere can put positive energy into the world by boycotting stores and simply knitting.  Knit Something Day is a day when knitters can knit something for charity that can be donated to an organization serving the needy.  Knit Something Day--a.k.a. Buy Nothing Day-- is also when the Annual Coat Exchange happens in Rhode Island.

The Annual Winter Coat Exchange is an opportunity for people who have extra winter coats to bring them to specific venues--including the lawn of the State House in Providence--and give them to folks who need warm outerwear.  The Annual Coat Exchange is an opportunity for anyone who needs a warm coat to find one.  No money is involved, only good will.

Well, here's the calendar so far:

  • 26 October:           Woolly Hat Day
  • 23 November:       Buy Nothing Day, Knit Something Day, Annual Coat Exchange (RI)
And, on a lighter note, October 12th, I've just learned, is I Love Yarn Day!  It's a celebration that has both a fun and a charitable purpose, as you'll see if you read the link.

I'm compiling a list of drop-off sites for knitted donations, and welcome input from my readers if you'd like me to publicize a collection place you know of.  Please be in touch!

Quentin and Orla are back!  And it's mating season...


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Photo Album: Travel Memories

Providence, RI March 2006
Raleigh, NC June 2007

Mystic, CT April 2008

Barton, VT, October 2008

White River Junction, NH, October 2009

Haddam, CT, March 2010

Northampton, MA, June 2010
London, England, January 2011

Los Angeles, CA, March 2011

Philadelphia, PA, December 2011

Torrance, CT April 2012
Charleston, SC April 2012

Block Island, RI, May 2012
North Fairport, ME June 2012