The owl, the news, and Paolo

I’ve e-mailed all the three kind people (I’m pretty sure it’s down from the former five) who read this blog, but it’s official: I got the confirmation from Lark Publishing yesterday, that I will have a real pattern published in a real book next year. With my name and bio and everything!

It’s the grey capelet, which I was pretty sure would be the winner. I’m not sure it will get to keep its name (Weather Storm) but frankly, they can call it “Grey Blobby” if I get paid and my name in print.

I supposed I should have felt happier or more joyful than I did, and I did, believe me. But I didn’t have many people to share my news with. When I called my parents, my dad, upon hearing I had “good news,” asked if that meant I’d found a job. So that kind of took the wind out of my sails. And I guess because I’m not around many knitting folks anymore, due to my forced “retirement” or whatever you want to call it, I just couldn’t share the news like I would have. I have lost touch with all those people, and I think it’s for the best. But I guess I should be happy, feel a sense of accomplishment, and move forward. As always, now I have to write the damned thing up. It won’t be as hard as the sock, that’s for sure. Thank GOD for tech editors. I never knew there could be such a joyous thing! And frankly, I just futzed around and made this up while watching A LOT of Florida Marlins baseball one weekend. Maybe I should tell them to call it “Ground Rule Double.”

Moving on.

I’m going up to my folks tomorrow for the weekend to help my mom clean out some drawers and closets, because she incapable of throwing anything out. I, however, am not. I am going through years of costume jewelry of hers and other (dead) relatives and selling it on Etsy. Why, just two days ago this little fellow went off to a “disco party” in New York. I shit you not:
Hooty Who belonged to my great Aunt Edie, who had a passel of feral cats and a shotgun behind the guest bed in her trailer where she lived. I’m not quite sure I can imagine her at a “disco party” in NYC, but there it is.

I’m also very excited that SOMEONE I finally like is deigning to do a concert down in this neck of the woods. In August, Scottish beanpole Paolo Nutini is coming, and I’m a going.
Swoon. All those rolling “Rs,” memories of classic Faces’ tunes – yeah, I’ll put my “New Shoes” on and be singing until the “Last Request.” I love this guy!

BTW, we did go and see Away We Go on Sunday, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am married to the doppleganger of John Krasinski’s character, Burt, in that movie. Beard, gooffiness and all. It’s the truth, folks.

Again, I don’t know why I’m not jumping for joy about my good news, I really AM happy. I’ve just had such a weird year, and I really need to make some cheddar. But if I’m being honest, I guess it is a little validation that I’m a good knitter, and have a decent creative vision. Does this mean I’m all growed up? That I can play with the big girls now?

You know, I always wanted to be published. I guess, in a way, my dream is finally coming true.



I’m not a celebrity, but please get me out of here! (Bonnie, is Costa Rica still in shame from that show!?)

Look, my stomach is still churning a week after I vomited up a couch sideways, and after a quick trip to Web MD, I think I may have gallstones. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor, I just play one here in the velvet cage!

Finally, without further ado, here is the video from Comic Con Miami – I couldn’t get music to edit, so you can hear me blabbering in the background. At least enjoy the Joker, The Blue Fairy, and all the other freaks (off) the leash.

In my illness all week, I’ve been doing a lot of accessory work, just all the little diddly finishing work that takes time so I can post a massive shop update. Which this time, includes some vintage jewelry, shoes and ephemera. So go look, MASSIVE SHOP UPDATE!!!!!!

Here’s a taste:

I call this Fly Girl b/c I made the pattern up on the fly (seriously) and it looks like an Air Force hat. Was it hard? No. Did I reinvent the wheel? No. Is it Acrylic mixed with Koigu? YES!

I call this Fly Girl b/c I made the pattern up on the fly (seriously) and it looks like an Air Force hat. Was it hard? No. Did I reinvent the wheel? No. Is it Acrylic mixed with Koigu? YES!

Hey, it looks simple, but I'm proud of this: A beret with a flower clip that can be added to the hat or worn as a barrette - not a pin! I think I'm so smart sometimes.

Hey, it looks simple, but I'm proud of this: A beret with a flower clip that can be added to the hat or worn as a barrette - not a pin! I think I'm so smart sometimes.

A pink hat. Hide your shock.

A pink hat. Hide your shock.

A simple head/neckband in a buttery merino, but this is an actual Limoges China piece I made into a pin. I think it makes the piece.

A simple head/neckband in a buttery merino, but this is an actual Limoges China piece I made into a pin. I think it makes the piece.

So yeah, I’m not making the world’s greatest things here, but I’ve been busy on my sickbed, yo, and I really wanted to use these small quantities of yarn up since they were all earmarked for these particular projects, anyway. Next, I can work on some more large-scale pieces. And the prices go up when I do those…

I have GOT to go to a movie tomorrow. Up or Away We Go. Hey, put ’em together and it’s Up and Away We Go!

Three is the magic number

Yes it is…
Sent all my proposals off to the publisher on Friday, and breathed a sigh of relief. I’ll hear back by June 26th if it’s a yeah or nay, so fingers crossed. Here’s the final, 11th hour project:
orange collar

This is two strands of Habu Cotton Gima held together, with some Hannah Silk Ribbon threaded through the grand eyelets. I’m not sure this is a winner or just an 11th hour contingency plan to get as many projects as possible sent, because frankly, I think the grey capelet is the winner. But I had ordered what I thought was pure white Cotton Gima from The Websters, and they sent me PURPLE. So I had to send it back, told them I wanted pure white, and they sent me NATURAL.

So I used some pay pal money and a coupon for 10% off and got some orange from kpixie, and you see the result. As I promised, the face is cropped to protect the guilty.

What else…I am exhausted. Completely and utterly spent. My husband has been on “Staycation” with me all week, and though I will miss him dreadfully here in the velvet cage when he goes back to work, I think next time we better scrimp and save and go somewhere, anywhere and get the fudge out of this stinking town. He has been hounded by work the whole time, and he’s too nice not to pick up the phone. Plus, the heat has been obscene. I hate summer of all the seasons most.

And Friday, I got another case of food poisoning/Satan in my belly/whatever! and literally puked my guts out all night. What is the deal? I haven’t puked twice in a year in God knows how long.

Here’s some food (not for puking!) for thought: Two articles this week about Etsy. One was on the Double X site, and one was a rebuttal on Jezebel.
On the Etsy Shops thread at Ravelry, we’ve been discussing, and I have some definite opinions. Read for yourself.

I find the Double X piece poorly researched and written with a definite agenda. All Etsy crafters are not “womyn” at home with tiny tots. Just because I craft and have a uterus, please don’t make that sweeping assumption. However, it is true that selling is hard, and the elusive “quitting your day job” — or in my case, being told to “get the fuck out” of your day job, is a fantasy that will seldom happen. Unless you have the know-how to market yourself properly.

That being said, my partner and I made two sales this weekend, and I’m listing a bunch more stuff next week. Mostly vintage clothing and jewelry. And for the first time, I’m going to dip my toe in some advertising, see if it gets our shop more views. It wouldn’t hurt.

I’ve been feeling a bit blue this weekend, b/c TNNA is going on, and I’m not there. Missing a lot of the great people I met last year. But you know, the nice part is knowing I won’t be forced to do some things I had to do last year, like — oh, say STEALING soap and shampoo samples from the maid’s cart in the hotel for my millionaire boss who is too cheap to buy X-Mas presents for her friends and family.

Why me, you ask? Because I carry a purse — “Put them in your purse!” I gently demurred, but one could only hold out so long to the creature signing your paycheck. And we wonder why millionaires are able to get so rich….

See you next week!

Idiot Reverb

I washed the cat today. I thought you should know. He’s good for another year!

Last night, I made up a new term — “Idiot reverb.” I wanted to make sure and write it down so I wouldn’t forget it. Feel free to use it and steal it. I make up things all the time, just give me the TM.

What does it mean? Let me tell you. We went to the Bon Iver show, in Ft. Lauderdale. I know, I know. One day, I’ll stop going to these shows with Jon and a bunch of 19 year olds.

Photo courtesy of Shaun Flagg - our bud and photographer.

Photo courtesy of Shaun Flagg - our bud and photographer.

When we go to this particular venue, Revolution, we always go to the second level, the “bird’s nest,” and watch from behind this plexiglass screen. It gives a great view of the stage (you can see the artists before they go onstage, and all the set up by the roadies), and you’re not in the pit with the stinky masses. But you know, I’ve fucking had it with the talking girls. Like the one who plopped beside me last night, with her boyfriend, and proceeded to yack in her girly voice about “Her and him, and then he went there, and I was like, all, whatever, you know he’s her ex, and so then…” blah blah blah, give me a fucking STUN GUN, and then she texted through the whole show on her iPhone. Well, the part I stood there for — I finally got up and left, and found another group of annoying twats! I’m like a magnet for idiots.

Why do you need to go to a concert and sit there and text all night? The chitter chatter, I understand. I don’t like it, but I guess I’m forced to deal with it. You’re 19. You’re socially retarded. But why do you need to TEXT? Are you tweeting? Why? Hey dude, the one sitting there on the floor, reading the Interwebs all night? WHY?

Idiot reverb. It’s all around us, people. I can’t fucking take it. I’m sorry if my language offends. No, I’m not.

Here’s a pretty picture, of the very lovely, the very adorable, the very talented Marce modeling proposal number deux. My deadline, remember, is Friday:

Two skeins of Pakucho and one skein of Blue Sky Organic Skinny Cotton. You can do it!

Two skeins of Pakucho and one skein of Blue Sky Organic Skinny Cotton. You can do it!

Seriously, yo. With the exception of the slight halo of shadow, that’s the winning proposal picture. As soon as I put it on her, I was like, “Damned, you make it BETTER.” It came out exactly how I envisioned it: A flirty collar to wear over a tank or one of those town gown thingies.

Two more being finished as we speak, unfortunately, I have to model them. The head will be cropped, that’s a promise.

Hey, the summer Knitty is up today, and I have to make a statement. At the risk of becoming the Dame Maggie Smith/E.M. Forster/Frustrated English Major blog, there’s a pattern called “Honeychurch.” As soon as I saw the name, I knew someone was referencing A Room With a View. Hey, great, good on you!

But whatever I might think of the pattern, I really took exception to the description of it and the work that inspired it. I don’t want to write it word for word; that’s not cool. But it said something along the lines of “Lucy Honeychurch manages to find true love despite the interference of her spinster cousin Charlotte.”

Folks, I started reading Forster in the ninth grade, by choice. I have seen both adaptations of A Room With a View, and actually, just rewatched the Merchant Ivory version prior to selling it. I have the book in my bookshelf.

So I feel I can say pretty confidently that cousin Charlotte is a very misunderstood character if the writer of this pattern takes this particular view. Charlotte actually is the catalyst that gets Lucy to realize her love for George by making her remain with his father a little longer in the Reverend’s home before she tramps off with the Miss Alans — she realizes she has missed out on love and is a spinster (an annonying one, albeit) and makes a conscious decision that might not be seen by everyone, but is quite apparent if you read the text, and if you witness Dame Maggie’s marvelously well-modulated performance.

I really encourage a rewatching of the film — perhaps people who are a little younger than me don’t pick up on this. Charlotte’s true nature is perhaps not apparent to the young and über-romantic. Maybe you have to have lived a few years to understand romantic disappointment, and what it can do to a person. How set in their ways they become, and really, how dependent someone like Charlotte was on her relatives for any and everything. We as modern women simply have idea what our foremothers went through to get us to the place we are today, where we can listen to Lady Whore Whore, wear town gowns with no bras, put saucy pictures up on the Facey-space, and tweet all night at a concert. Capice?!

Okay, I’m getting all up on my high horse, and I’m a going to fall off it. Maybe I should be an English teacher after all. Either that or some sort of Maggie Smith scholar, obvs.


The Miami Comic-Con was Saturday, and it’s safe to say we’ve finally recovered. In sad news, we didn’t interview or meet Bruce Campbell, because Bruce was charging $20 a pop for the privilege, and were I come from, you pay ME for the honor, not the other way around. Ya heard.

BUT, despite the general mayhem, I did get something out of it. There was a fantastic artist there, name of Echo Chernik. If you have a hankerin’, please take a gander at her Web site and store. She does the most incredible work in the Art Noveau vein, and her work reminds me so much of Alphonse Mucha (natch) that I almost slobbered on the poor dear. We did a little interview with her, and I took a photo.

Isn't she a cutie?

Isn't she a cutie?

If you know me, you know I love a couple of things: Asian cinema, opera, and the art of Mucha and Sargent. So I had to have a poster of hers (really good price – $37.00) of a triptych of opera posters she did for the Connecticut Opera’s 2008 season. Three panels, one of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, one of Puccini’s Tosca, and the last of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio. The final two panels are my favorites, you simply don’t know how much I LOVE Seraglio, and I don’t feel like photographing the poster, so let me show you:
Photo courtesy of Echo Chernik

Photo courtesy of Echo Chernik

Photo courtesy of Echo Chernik

Photo courtesy of Echo Chernik

I hope you like these as much as I do. Looking through her portfolio, I was so impressed with both her her fine art, and commercial work – posters for Lance Armstrong, ad campaigns for Celestial Seasonings, you name it. But she’s concentrating on her paintings now, and heading out with her family to shows around the country. I really admire that kind of spirit.

As for the con itself, I’ll just say this: I’m editing together a minute and a half movie of the freak show parade I witnessed. I truly had no idea what I was in for. I knew folks would be in costume, but I was just NOT PREPARED. And the shitty Miami Doubletree sprung multiple leaks in the rain deluge, so couple that with the stench of sterno and burned weiners in the main conference room and you have a recipe for smell overload.

I did enjoy one lecture I went on Japanese fashion from post-war to modern, but found it sad that most of the people there were pretty ignorant of anything outside of Gwen Stefani’s cultural rape of the Harajuku Girl stereotype. When the lecturer asked if anyone had seen Kamikaze Girls (a pretty well-known movie about a Yankii girl and a Lolita), I was the only one who raised my hand.

Lots of knitting pictures to come as I work my way into the homestretch this week. We went to see The Hangover yesterday, and it was okay, but not as great as I wanted it to be. I wish they had explained the chicken aimlessly roaming around the hotel room at Caeser’s Palace. I found myself very concerned for his future safety.


The week that was

It’s been hard forcing myself to put butt in chair and write this week. For all who sent sympathies for the funeral — thank you. It went as well as can be expected, the family handled it well, and I think that’s the best you can say in those circumstances. It was weird going back to my old school/church, which is where the services were held. Looked exactly the same, except for the chapel, which had been slightly refurbished, but I had seen that about 15 years ago. My Mom and Dad hadn’t, and I think it was weirder for my mom. Seeing people you grew up with and don’t remember — that’s just plain surreal.

We head to Miami tomorrow for a huge comics convention, which is where Bruce Campbell will be, so wish us luck. We do have press passes, and I’ll just walk up to someone if I have nothing to lose, so who knows. There’s also one of the dudes from Twilight there, but since I maintain that Twilight is a book/movie for menstruating girls and boys with vaginas, I will keep on walking. Please don’t ask me what movies and movie/TV stars have to do with comics and manga, I’m just there for the par-tay.

Picture time!
grey 2
These are not the greatest snaps; the weather’s been bad all week so it’s hard to get good light. But I wanted to show one of the designs I did for the book proposal I have to send off by next Friday. I don’t feel like sharing it on Ravelry yet, but since I don’t get a lot of hits here, I figured why not. I’m not worried anyone’s going to rip me off.

It’s two kinds of cables (one for the body, one for the collar), and the collar isn’t tucked quite right in the photo — I also won’t fasten it with the pin, but either a ribbon or some chain. I’m still playing with ideas. Any feedback is appreciated. Believe me, this is not something I would ever wear in this weather, but it came out the way I envisioned it, so I’m happy.

Not much else going on; I just got done chilling while working some finishing on another proposal piece and watching The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie on one of the cable channels. Please holla if you have seen this Maggie Smith film from the 1960s or read the Muriel Spark novel on which is based. I had to read it for a huge paper in college, and of course knew that Dame Mags won a best actress Oscar for the role. I said to Jon, “I think, over the past 22 working years of my life, both at the paper and the yarn store, there is ONE person I knew who would have known of this movie or book.” And that was my old marketing department head. I didn’t like her, but she did once tell me (during my first interview with the dept., when I didn’t get the job) that she had done her thesis in graduate school on Under the Volcano, and I said, “Oh, you like Malcolm Lowry?”

You could have knocked her over with a feather. Ah, the joys of being an English major. We’ll never get a decent job, but we know our arcane book trivia!

Unless it’s about Twilight.

Look, I’ll leave you with a little story in light of the fact that TNNA is next week, and I ain’t going this year, obviously. Last year, I stood in the Vogue Knitting booth, with my former boss, all the young editrixes and assistants and a very famous designer promoting her new book. All very sweet and kind, don’t get me wrong. But I was admiring one of the designer’s sweaters, and I commented it had a very Edwardian look, and reminded me of A Room With a View (there I go again with the Maggie Smith allusions).

And then the crickets started. “What?” “Huh?”
I tried explaining, “You know, the movie? With Helena Bonham Carter? Set in Italy? Daniel Day Lewis was in it, too?”

More crickets. I didn’t even bother saying “You remember, based on a book by E.M. Forster.” The crickets had gotten too loud.

And by the way, the former boss told me I shouldn’t have said anything — I was being “uppity.”

Have a great weekend!