Saturday, March 31, 2012

Freaks of Nature

South Park is a neighborhood chock full of creative people. Leading the pack is Jeffrey Parish of JUNC Boutique. Visit his shop and you will see what I mean. Why he's not in New York has always been a question in my mind but for as long as he stays in our humble little corner of the world, all is well. Aside from having exquisite taste, the macabre has a wee bit of an appeal to Jeffrey. And if you're into that sort of thing, you must see his current Freaks of Nature exhibit. It's small...maybe five pieces but the craftsmanship makes seeing even one a worthwhile visit. Pictured is the 2-headed baby who Jeffrey named Bubble and Squeak. I know, they're Crazy, right? They sold one day after their arrival at JUNC so you won't be able to see them in person but I was able to snap this photo before they hobbled out the door. Gross. Just kidding...they don't really walk. For more info, check out JUNC'S facebook page.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's a Sin ...

to love something as much as I am loving this ponchette! It was so worth the time I put into it. I've already worn it 4 times since Saturday night's Walkabout because it is so perfect for our beautiful spring season. While I'd like to invite you to the shop to view this, I'm not ready to take it off my back yet! No doubt I will get over it at some point and when I do, it will be a store sample. But be patient, my friends. This is a tough one to part with!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's A Long Way To Tipperary!

OMG! This Cotton Ponchette is taking forever to finish!!! I'm a pretty fast knitter and I also knit a lot so for any project to take more than a week, is forever to me. I think I've been working on this one for three so that makes it an eternity! I'm on my 6th ball of Covington. At 186 yds. per ball, I have knit over 1100 yards. But the end is in sight and I think I'm going to love wearing this. It's got a lovely drape and the lace edging is delicious (I can't think of any other word to describe it). I've got 3 more inches to go and then it's bind off and sew time. The final measurements will be 53" x 22" (versus the 53" x 17" called for in the pattern.)

The ponchette will have it's grand debut at this weekend's Spring Walkabout...Saturday, March 24th starting at 6:00. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Charity Knitting Anyone?

A customer of ours forwarded this article to us, which falls under the heading of "Charity". She did so hoping it would not offend us. As for me, aw contrare!

From Jezebel's website:

"Knit a Uterus to Donate to a Congressman in Need.

Remember when we decided that Rick Santorum needed a uterus of his very own so he'd leave ours alone? Well, now there's a similar idea being proposed for the members of Congress across this great land who seem so insistent on getting all up in our lady parts since they're jealous they don't have any of their own. So how exactly are we going to make that happen, since we can't, you know, give them actual uteruses? Enter Government Free VJJ, a project which aims to have have ladies knit or crochet lovely versions of uteruses (plus cervixes and vulvas) and mail them to their representatives.

If you've got some spare time and know how to knit or crochet, pick one of these patterns (or devise your own), fill out this form so they can keep track of who's getting what, and then mail off the finished product to the statesman of your choice. It might not end the war on women, but at least it will give our beloved representatives something soft to cuddle when they have nightmares about slut-demons and whore-monsters taking over the world with our birth-control riddled godzila-sized vaginas."
For the patterns, click here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Your Brain on Fiction

I have always been an avid reader of fiction and I am more than blessed to have access to such wonderful books at the Grove. I read for myself, but I also read because I am frequently asked for book recommendations. Sometimes I scan the main tables with a customer and realize I've read at least 40% of the books, and then I realize how much I actually do read.

I've always thought knitting and reading go hand in hand and many of our customers feel the same way. I can't tell you the number of knitters who have said...if only I could find a way to read and knit at the same time! I think I found the link that ties these two pleasures together.

In yesterday's New York Times, there was an article entitled "Your Brain on Fiction" One neuroscience brain study showed that reading metaphors that involve texture stimulate the sensory cortex (the part of the brain that perceives texture through touch.) So if reading metaphors about touch and actually knitting light up the same sensory center in the brain, wouldn't it figure that that's one reason reading appeals to knitters?

I'm just sayin' ... it's possible!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Perfect Knitting Weather

My lemon tree is singing outside my window because it is raining gently. And I suppose Mr. Fish is enjoying it too. Personally, I'm not a rain guy. My moods are directly linked to the weather which is why for the most part I have a sunny personality (hah!). As I am typing this, I Wish It Would Rain by the Temptations just came on Pandora. Crazy synchronicity. Since I don't have to venture out today, I am relishing the idea of staying in my pj's, sipping coffee, listening to music and knitting my ponchette. It's quiet because DH is still asleep with Scoutie curled up beside him. These are the sacred hours of the day.

I will leave you with some purls [sic] of wisdom by Elizabeth Zimmerman: "Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit, either. When I say properly practiced, I mean executed in a relaxed manner without anxiety, strain or tension, but with confidence, inventiveness, pleasure and ultimate pride. Really, all you need to know to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yarn Bombing the Steps of Helsinki's Cathedral

WOW! All these beautiful afghans paving the stairs to the cathedral were handknit and eventually donated to charity. To yarn bomb is an extraordinary thing in itself but to provide warmth to 1000's in addition is just plain humbling. Imagine the many hands that crocheted these blankets. Young ones. Old ones. Female ones. Male ones. All different colors. Imagine the thoughts that went into each stitch from all those people. And then imagine all those who received these. Just think about the energy in each one of these afghans. That's got to be giving peace and love a chance.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Flowers For Our Window Display

I admit that I am obsessed. Let's see. What are those 12 steps you're supposed to take? I'll start step 1 tomorrow.

Yesterday, DH had a routine procedure which gave me a full hour to knit one more puff. As I was playing with those I had finished, I thought it would be fun to make these into Spring flowers for our display window. The center will be from a bright yellow yarn and I'll embroider black french knots on it. I ran this idea by judipatuti and she's going to make leaves for them out of fabric. What fun! (But don't hold you're breath because this may be one of those "good concepts but too hard to actualize").

Unless....any volunteers? How about a Display Your Talent day at the Grove where we all put our heads and hands together and create flowers for an awesome window display? We'll supply the yarn, tea and cookies! Any takers, just respond here or email me at

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hook, line & sinker!

Spending some wait time and finished my 5 th honeycomb since last night. Love the portability of this project! I have fallen fast for the beekeepers quilt.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Beekeeper's Quilt

A crazy number of people have knit a Beekeeper's Quilt and I have just succumbed! First, you must watch this video of "tiny owl". I laughed out loud several times while watching it because here is a woman who truly loves yarn, color, texture, and small pleasures. She Kills Me!!! The emphasis on this project is "portable" thereby making it a great summer project. I could not resist buying the pattern this morning and whipping up my first hexagon. "Warning: Beware of addiction" is missing from the pattern but by all means it should be included! Check this out!!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012


This is sweet little Violet, a 3-week old squirrel who was rescued after she fell out of a tree. She's wearing a tiny purple cast following the incident. I think she needs a little purple binkie to keep her warm and probably a tam and scarf to match. Now those would be quick knits!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Spring 2012 Knitty Issue Has Finally Arrived

I eagerly await every issue of Knitty and finally, the Spring 2012 one has been posted. Mostly shawls, socks, and some sweaters. The piece pictured is called Petal, a sweet summer sweater that would flatter many different figures. The neckline makes this sweater perfect for warm weather as does the airy lace pattern. Its A-line structure lends a feminine touch, gently emphasizing the waisteline and subtlely flaring to ease the trasition to the hipline. And the sleeves can easily be made longer for those who like upper arm coverage (ahem, like me). For yarn, I'm thinking that Cotton Fleece by Brown Sheep would be a good choice. Or Covington, which is high on my list these days! Or Skinny Dyed by Blue Sky Alpaca. The choices are many!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Knitting

It is such a beautiful, breezy Spring day and I can smell the lemon blossoms from the tree outside my window. With the chill still in the air, I am encouraged to finish this Lace Cotton Ponchette as soon as possible. It is such an easy knit with half of it in garter stitch and the other half in a simple eyelet stitch. But mindless as it may be, it is a lot of knitting! It measures 25" from the tip of the points along the bottom to the top edge and it will be at least 53" wide. I'm just starting my third skein of Covington (a beautiful mercerized cotton with a subtle sheen) at 184 yds. per skein so this piece will take at least 5, if not 6 skeins in total. Like I said, it's a lot of knitting!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Knitting at the Movies

No, I don't ordinarily knit at the movies (1) because my hands are full of popcorn and (2) because it's dark! I don't look at my knitting much, but I find that the occasional glances down are necessary. What brings this all to mind is accompanying my granddaughter's 3rd grade class to see Lorax on Friday. Friday was pj day and all the little chickies were in flannel. The girls had done some face painting and they all looked like kittens. This was an astoundingly calm and well-behaved class which was not what I had envisioned. When I asked Viv if grandpa could buy her some popcorn, she said no, because it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the class. (What?!#) I snuck her a couple of handfuls and no one was worse off because of it. When she'd put her little braided head on my shoulder, it was as if a hummingbird had landed. I didn't breathe or move, savoring the sweet moment. So I couldn't have knitted, even if I had brought my project with me. I do have my priorities straight.