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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My Kind of Business Trip

Each year I go to NY for work. I'm there for an arts conference where artists, their managers, and presenters all gather in one place for the purpose of buying and selling shows. It is a busy event but the hours are odd, with chunks of time carved out here and there for various activities. I know that when you see the pics from my trip to NY you will find it hard to believe I was there on business and that I actually did work. I worked a lot in the six days I was there. But between work obligations, I carved out time for a bit of fun. Fun for me, as you might have already guessed, means yarn shopping. Whee!

First stop, Knitty City, a very nice and nicely appointed shop on the Upper West Side. So nice I went back a second time. I really liked this skein of Schaefer Anne:

I got a kick out of these little yarn dolls.
The Red Devil's job is to help you keep your temper!

Knitty City was hosting a book signing of The Friday Night Knitting Club. It was mobbed, so mobbed, in fact, that I couldn't stay. Besides, I was headed back downtown to The Point to meet Carrie in person. Alas, it was not to be as she ended up working late, but I did pick up a few goodies:
Yes, more Schaefer Anne.
There were stops at School Products and Seaport Yarn along the way, too. At School, I picked up cashmere to make Endpaper Mitts and some fun shades of Koigu.

Seaport yielded the biggest haul, with Blue Heron, Colinette Jitterbug, Ellyn Cooper Big Horn, and Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca making it into the shopping basket.

Last stop was Knit New York. More Koigu, on sale no less. (Sorry, no photo.)
In order to get the haul home, I had to shove skeins of yarn in every pair of shoes and boots that I packed. I was really hoping the TSA wouldn't open the suitcase. Skeins of yarn would have popped out like spring-loaded snakes in a prank peanut can.
Between last year and this year, I have been to almost every knit shop in Manhattan. Next year... Brooklyn!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Crazy in Alabama

I'm here in Birmingham, AL on a business trip. My company is performing down here and, due to a number of factors, I came along for the ride. It has been wonderful for our dancers to be performing in the same theater four days in a row (a rare luxury in our world), and I am taking particular pleasure bringing this group of artists and artistic product to a place where I have some history. (My time was spent in Tuscaloosa, not Birmingham, but we are here as the headliners at a state-wide dance festival, so we are in front of a large cross-section from all around the region.) It's going incredibly well--hurrah!

Of course I made time for a stop at a local yarn shop. Knit Nouveau is a cute store in Homewood, AL. It is surrounded by some really charming shops (Red Rain next door is a delightful, quirky find) and it has a nice, broad selection of primarily wool yarns, especially given AL's warm climate. (As a side note, it is HOT here. I have the A/C on right now in my hotel room, and I drove home from the theater tonight with the car windows down and I was STILL HOT. Can we all say "Global Warming" in unison, please?!) In the seemingly never-ending quest for a case for my DPNs, I bought a wool felt needle case. We'll see how this one fares. (I can't even tell you how many have failed the test for any number of reasons.)

Other fun stops along the way in B'ham: Continental Bakery, Chez Lou Lou, and The Vulcan. Another treat: gettin to see S.A. two weeks in a row, last week in IL, this week in AL.

(Sorry, more Sidekick pics--forgot the real camera.)

Between shows and during marathons of Forensic Files (I LOVE watching tv late into the night in hotels), I'm knitting Clapotis #3. (It's a great break from the grant I'm composing while I'm here.) I have been wearing one of the other two almost every day this winter (weird spring-like, autumnal season?), so I'm gonna crank a few more out in various colors. This one is Malabrigo, brown on one end, blue on the other, and variegated brown/blue in the middle. Could be fun, could be a mess. I love the yarn despite the fact that it is a heavy worsted and may be a little less drapey than I would like.

Next week, NYC...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Knitty City

Well, now, when the city you live in creates a two month-long event just for you, you feel pretty special. Thank you, Mayor Daley. As part of the annual Winter Delights Festival (essentially a p.r. campaign to drive tourism in the normally cold, dreary weeks after the holidays), the city has created a Knitting Salon. It is a lovely space across from the Cultural Center with installations (some of them only tangentially related to fiber and some of them completely unrelated, but why be, ahem, knit-picky), classes, knitting related film presentations, and more. The grand opening was Friday and HUNDREDS of people showed up. The owner of Lorna's Laces was there and you could dye your own skein of yarn (which I did), and there was an interactive display where you could grab some needles and yarn and add on to the hem of a sweater.

(Sorry about the pics. I didn't bring my camera and my phone was all I had.)

You could also help this guy knit with plastic wrap on really large needles.

Finally! My tax dollars at work for ME!!!

On another note, my wheel arrived from Amsterdam. It is an older model Louet S10 in good shape. I put it together, but something is not right and I will need help. When I treadle and the wheel spins to the right, a bolt is tightening, slowing the wheel and eventually stopping it. (The opposite happens when I go to the left.) I'm sure it is a simple fix, but I am going to have to call in some reinforcements. Oh, and if you're looking for roving on Etsy, there isn't any; I think I bought all of it! (Okay, not all of it, but a lot...)