Monday, October 19, 2009

Come Hither, My Lovelies

Have I been trapped in a black hole? A time warp? A malfunctioning TARDIS? Who knows. What I can say is that I was absolutely astounded to see that I had not posted for over 2 months. In that time, The Poetry Society's Knit a Poem project was completed, my home got a new look and I stopped in to see some crafty friends at Chicago's annual YarnCon.

First up is the Knit a Poem project. It took over 1200 knitted and crocheted letters to spell out the then-secret work of Dylan Thomas’s ‘In my Craft or Sullen Art.’ How appropriate that the medium was the message in a way, as these letters and words connected in a 43 x 28 foot display at London's British Library, highlighting the Society's centennial year.

A coat or two of paint, a bit of caulk and new frames, fixtures and faucets equal a fresh perspective in five rooms of my humble hereabouts. I admit to unfettered, aww-gosh admiration for the results. Even while performing the most mundane of tasks (like brushing my teeth) I look up at the espresso-colored frame of the mirror and think, "That's so cool!"

Mirror In The Bathroom
Dark wood frame and oil rubbed bronze fixtures

The Green Is Gone
Even a humble office deserves a facelift

The Green Is Gone
Crisp white towels and new pewter towel bars

YarnCon began in 2007 ago as a way to, "promote, sell, and celebrate the yarny arts." I made it to historic Pulaski Park Fieldhouse that first year but in the two years hence had fallen off the Chicago creative grid. Turns out I missed my peeps, so I got myself together and headed over to the event.
YarnCon '09 Mosaic
Top: Natalia, co-founder of YarnCon; Lisa, the space and fade dye queen;
Bottom: Jen and Nate of Piddleloop; Lucky Penny Handmades.

After dropping some coin on home front upgrades, I had no intention of buying one darn thing. It had, after all, been months since neither yarn nor patterns nor hooks, books or needles had been purchased. I puffed out my chest, finally immune from the lure. Or so I thought.

YarnCon '09
Let's start on the left with Lisa M's purple to berry goodness, yards of her special fade-dye (or is it space-dye?) blend of merino and tussah silk. Most cuddle-worthy and color intense. Moving to the bottom of the tableau you'll find Vera's handspun and marigold-dyed alpaca. Petting this pale yellow fiber and planting your nose in its midst tells the tale of the close-to-nature, low process yarn from a neighboring farm. Purely delicious.

I picked up Samantha Lyon's feather and fan scarf pattern, Blink (Ravelry link) which would do justice to one of the many sock yarn skeins I already own. It has a flavor of LMKG Chevron but knits up pleasingly on the diagonal.

Could it be that big things do come in small packages? Witness the latest edition of Knitcircus magazine. I'd heard of, but never seen, Knitcircus in person. What drew me to it? Simple. I like the jacket on the cover. The Pinot Noir Bolero by Jaala Spiro looks like something that could be worn quite comfortably. The Ysolda Teague interview is another plus. The editor sat down with Ms. Teague during her recent swing through the Midwest. I'll try to do an expanded review of the 11 patterns in the fall edition a bit later.

So does this mean I'm back? Dunno. Still one day at a time, friends. I admit to missing the vibe, the fiber and thou. This could be a good sign.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007


Asiatic Lily Buds
Asiatic Tiger Lily buds

Our gardens are enamored of the spring,
Of silver rain,
The cloudy green of buds slow-burgeoning,
The sorrow of last apple blooms that cling
And are not fain
To yield their fruit again.
We do not long for tropic pageantry,
Yet surge with love to see
The tiger lily’s muted ecstasy.

(From the poem "Tiger Lily" by Walter Adolphe Roberts)

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