Today I write to you from my parents’ deck in New Jersey. I am in the middle of a two-week vacation to the east coast, visiting family and friends. It rained for basically the entire first week I was here; this is the first really nice day we’ve had so far!
On Friday I went to New York for one of my trademark over-booked whirlwind visits — but before meeting up with anyone, I steered myself directly to Purl Soho. It was smaller than I expected, given their large web presence, but it was stacked floor-to-ceiling with yarn and populated by friendly, helpful employees. They seem to have much much more in stock than they are able to display; I was looking for Addi Lace needles to help me with the crazy 3-into-9-star stitches that my Laminaria shawl requires, and they didn’t have any at all displayed. But when I asked, they seemed to have them in all sizes & lengths hidden away in their basement. Score. Here is what I picked up:
Two skeins of Koigu KPM in a lovely orange-red that I was planning on making into socks until about three seconds ago, when I looked at that picture and realized that they may be exactly what one of my friends is looking for in a scarf. Matt, if you’re reading, note that they do look a little more orange and less red here than they do in real life. I’ll take some more pictures in different lighting and send them along!
All right, I may have been a tiny bit influenced in my purchase of this yarn by the fact that it is apparently named after me. This is Alchemy Yarns’ Juniper, in the “Good Earth” colorway. It’s a machine-washable fingering weight yarn, which makes it ideal for socks, but I went and bought 3x as much as I would need for socks because I liked the colors so much. I have crazy ideas about making these into some kind of long-sleeved shrug. I want to make it from the top down because I have no idea how far this yarn will go, but I’m having trouble finding top-down shrug patterns written for fingering-weight yarn. I may adapt something written for a worsted, or try to figure out a way to add long sleeves to CanarySanctuary’s Hew pattern (Rav link). What I have sworn to NOT do is knit another Whisper Cardigan. If all else fails, maybe I’ll make these into a shawl. But by all means, if you know of a pattern that would work here, please let me know!
Later that evening, I was walking in the vicinity of Union Square with a friend when we came across this:
Guerilla knitting! Here’s the explanatory sign:
Apparently, this was in connection with a knitting-meets-science exhibit at the gallery inside, called Knit Theory — here is the website. The interior exhibit closed in May, otherwise I would have been sad to have missed it! However, no amount of googling has revealed to me how, exactly, this benefits Nepal.
The following day, I attended Figment, a large participatory-art festival out on Governor’s Island. The friend who was supposed to go with me had to cancel at the last minute, so I decided I needed something to do out there that would give me the opportunity to interact with people. I decided that I could write poems for people, but I needed a sign to advertise my wares. As I walked to the subway, I considered my options: should I dumpster-dive for cardboard? Should I pull a poster off a wall and write on the back? And where would I get a marker? I know the general layout of the city pretty well, but I don’t know where to find specific, everyday things like these. As I was contemplating these questions, I came across a street fair. Among the usual stands of people selling knick-knacks and pirated DVDs and jewelry, I discovered a stand where an 8-year-old boy was selling cardboard signs that he had clearly made himself, saying things like “Go Jets” and “Love God.” Bingo. I asked him if he could make me a custom sign, and he said yes. In about 10 minutes, he produced this masterpiece, for which I paid him five dollars:
The whole incident left me pretty amazed at New York’s ability to give me exactly what I want. That’s me on Governor’s Island; note the man rocking back and forth on the human wibble-wobble in the background. The writing-poems thing went pretty darn well; I estimate that I wrote between 20 and 30 over the course of the afternoon, using a method whereby I’d have each person who requested one give me two words and I would write a poem using those words. I also ran into about a million people I knew, from the Burning Man community and elsewhere. Here is some other cool stuff from the festival:
A dragon made out of chairs.
A man made out of scrap metal.
A room in a gallery where participants were encouraged to paint on the walls.
That’s all for now! The Laminaria is going swimmingly, and I’m optimistic about being done in time for that wedding in July. More pictures to come!