Monday, October 09, 2006

Knitting Rockstars and Yarn Bus Tornado Tragedy 2006

Last December, Brian and myself took a trip on the Yarn Bus (the vehicle of choice of the Offical LYS* of the Totally Knitting Universe) that we haven't blogged about yet.

We met Vickie Howell, host of DIY Network's Knitty Gritty. She was taking the Yarn Bus up to Flying Fingers to sign copies of her new book. Kevin and Elise, the proprietors of the shop, had advertised her trip so it wasn't like we were googlestalking or anything.

We boarded the yarn bus at 9 AM, myself sleep-deprived from a night of debauchery an hour and a half south in Philadelphia, Brian a bit bedraggled from lack of coffee. Vickie had spent the night previous partying it up with the cast of Saturday Night Live (at the after party and at the after after party). Vickie Howell, you understand, is truly a knitting rockstar.

Brian and I are big fans of Vickie's show, mostly because we love knitting and with a DVR, you can choose which episodes to watch. It's nice to learn a new technique from the TV instead of a book, as I am a more visual learner.

I immediately asked Vickie when we could start asking questions. She confessed to her previous night's activities and said as long as I didn't mind a sleepy response. We asked why on her show they pronounce it "Knit Oh Meter" instead of "knitahmeter" like it is spelled. We asked who does her styling since Brian and I often wondered aloud where she might have obtained a certain shirt or flashy pants. She answered all of our questions with a sense of humor.

We were the only Vickie fans on the bus, the rest of the passengers were just happenstance riders who either didn't have cable or had never watched the DIY network.

After spending the day with us at the store and on the ride home, I think she appreciated our sense of humor and even agreed that we could be knitsters on the show next time they tape. We were also enamored of her publicist.

Brian bought both of us copies of her book, New Knits on the Block, as I was about to turn 27. I don't think either of us has knit anything out of it, but our intentions are there. It's a fantastic book if you have kids to knit for. Lots of great knitted costumes, and the mermaid costume would make a great scarf stitch pattern.

The photo above is myself and Brian with Vickie, modeling some of the samples of the work in her book.

This weekend, Brian and I are planning a return trip to Flying Fingers. Imagine our disappointment to learn that we cannot ride the Yarn Bus because of a freak tornado incident in Westchester County!! We don't get a lot of tornados in the New York Metro area.

Instead we're bringing Macy (my Shih Tzu and Official Spokesdog of the Totally Knitting Universe) and our significant others. Brian sent this email to Kevin, Elise or both in anticipation of our arrival:

Dear Kevin, or Elise, or Webmaster, or Any Combination Thereof,

Hello. This is a communication from Brian, the boy knitter of the knitlist. You may recallm e from such times as that time my best knitting pal Bevin and I rode the yarn bus with knitting superstar Vicki Howell, or that time when Bevin and I rode the Yarn Bus with a reporter from the New Yorker, who rocketed our names to international stardom with her piece on the Yarn Bus that featured quotes from Bevin and me.

As always I come to you with very specific knitting needs. Kevin, Elise, Webmaster, or Any Combination Thereof, I proclaim here publicly that my sock fetish is not yet sated. And I find myself in need of some very specific sock yarn for a very special project.

You see, Bevin recently found a pattern for argile socks that feature a skull and crossbones. Here is a picture.

As you might imagine, Kevin, or Elise, or the Webmaster, or Any Combination Thereof, I MUST MAKE THESE SOCKS WITH ALL DELIBERATE HASTE! Recall, if you will, my penchant for alterna-cute and my disdain for Cutsie-pie.
I therefore come to you. I need 5 skeins/or hanks of solid colored sock yarn to make this project sing. 2 black, 1 white, 1 undecided color that won't get lost in the black, and 1 other undecided color that won't get lost in the black and won't look silly next to the first undecided color that won't get lost in the black. I'd like to buy this yarn from you. Two more parameters to throw into the mix, I'd prefer the yarn I buy be machine washable and probably sport weight or lighter. Do you have something available for purchase from your website that would be suitable?

I found some wildfoote, which I adore, but it's not solid colored and therefore best for other projects. I've not been able to locate anything else that might be good for feet.

In the alternative, do you have anything in your store that might be perfect? Bevin and I have been talking about paying your store a visit soon, we want to see the new digs, and are positively in mourning over the Yarn Bus Tornado Tragedy of 2006. Don't worry, we'll just drive this time if you don't have anything mail order.
Oh, Kevin, or Elise, or the Webmaster, or Any Combination Thereof! Can you help me?


It was Brian's birthday on September 13 and I promised to pick up the tab for some luxury fibers as a present. Additionally, he moved in with his BF**, Boomer, and destashed. I sold a bunch of his yarn on ebay and we split the profits. Our $34 each is rolling into fiber purchases.

As a post script, Brian and I have been neglecting this blog for a lot of reasons, mostly because he got a boyfriend and changed his lifestyle, and I got a happy relationship and changed my lifestyle. We both still knit, but not as obsessively as we once did. Which is, at once, a good thing for both of us, and also sad. We miss our nights delightfully yarn shopping or watching reality television and ignoring the increasing piles of clutter and mess growing in both of our apartments.

I discovered Flylady to help me keep my house in order. So I am no longer creating amazing FOs*** every 2 days, but my house looks much better.

*Local Yarn Shoppe
***Finished Objects

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bitch and Bitch and Knitting

I just got another email from Yahoo Groups about the Jersey City Knitting group's description.

When I started the group, I listed it on and called it a stitch n bitch. Because, you know, that's what it was.

When all of this copyright/trademark infringement stuff happened (good background on the Brenda Dayne podcast, Episode 10 and also Free to Stitch, Free to Bitch) and I was initially notified by Yahoo Groups about their cease and desist, I changed our description to st*tch n b*tch. Right? I mean, the message is clear but the trademark is not infringed upon.

Anyway, apparently that's not good enough for the bastards at sew fast sew easy, so I've been demanded to cease and desist. So now we are a bitch and bitch and knitting group.

Since I am totally on a self-imposed yarn diet because I bought two garbage bags full of yarn at back to back Smiley's Yarns Yarn Riots, and my stash is eating me slowly but surely, I decided to spend some of my yarn budget supporting anti-sew fast sew easy establishments. I bought an embroidery kit and some patterns from Sublime Stitching. I am making a "More Cowbell" tea towel for my good friend. She used to MC with me in our drag troupe and three years ago we had a group of drag kings act out the "More Cowbell" skit from SNL. It was a miracle. Anyway, she and the other founder of the troupe moved back to Columbus and she's turning 30 in a couple of weeks and I thought an embroidered gift would be really nice.

I have been having a hard time getting it together to knit lately. I've been working on a pair of socks on size ones for 6 weeks monogamously, but only three or four times a week, rather than my customary every possible moment knitting. I am a totally polyamorous knitter, with about 12 projects going at once because sometimes you're in the mood for different things. But socks are both mindless and challenging, small enough to take anywhere and the yarn is so gorgeous I can't help myself. Plus, I intend to wear them before it gets warm outside.

But for some reason whenever I pick up my knitting I feel guilty that I'm not doing other things around my house or brushing my two new persians or playing with Macy.

ALF, so named because he looks like an alien life form.

Bear, so named because he's enormous with fur. I might spin his fur, which is weird but it's so soft and there's so freaking much of it.

And, Macy, for good measure. Still my number one girl.

Anyone else feel "Knitter's Guilt"?

Uncle Brian hasn't been knitting because he has a new boyfriend.