Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Little Book of Craftivism

Hey y'all.
We were in the new Rough Trade shop in Williamsburg today.  Funny, but most of the customers were "of a certain age," not unlike your hooker here.  Absolutely gorgeous shop, omfg! Oh, and?  Freaking PRICEY!!!!  We paid $15 for a CD that was less than half that on iTunes!!! But that's not the point here.

While there, I came across this awesome book: A Little Book of Craft Activism.  What a fabulous little tome!  Sarah Corbett shares messages of hope and awareness through her cross-stitching and through her craft, tilts the world in a direction of greater justice.  Her work is really inspiring and humbling.  While I don't know that I can commit fully to doing work as she does, it definitely has me thinking about how to better use my love of crochet and knitting to do something more. 

There is also this (not exactly new) book: Craft Activism, by Joan Tapper and Gale Zucker - another fabulous book filled with ideas for becoming more politically involved via your craft.  Whether it's as simple as exposing others to the beauty and creativity of working with one's hands (especially that which is more readily considered "women's work"), to raising awareness of endangered species, the importance of recycling, or crafting for a cause, this book shines a light on the many areas where craft makes a difference in people's lives.  Oh, and it has awesome patterns, to boot!

While I generally have my head firmly up my ass when it comes to connecting the crafts I love with make the world a better place, these books remind me that it's not all about me.  Or you, for that matter.  

I am humbled by these women and inspired to do more.  Let's see if I do!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Vintage Hooking Rediscoveries

I was doing some post-Nemo (big-ass blizzard, for those in a cave) poking around my studio and happened upon a stash of vintage goodness I'd not seen in a while. One was this treasure, "Fourteen Filet Crochet Sweaters" by Emma Farnes. Based on the clothing worn by the models and by the nouveau-style font used on the cover, I would have guessed these were from around 1915-1918. But if the newspaper clipping from "American Farmer" inserted long ago is a clue, it seems to be from around 1921. Oh well, my bad.

But I thought all one of you might enjoy seeing some of these beauties and the scanty instructions that accompany them.

 Besides the Filet discovery, I also came across these gems.  One thing I absolutely love about vintage pattern books are the marks left by their former owners. (Actually, that's one of the things I love about used cookbooks, too). Take Collingbourne's, for example.  Apparently, someone didn't care so much for the artistic crochet contained within these pages, as she (I presume) glued other patterns straight over them!  Virtually every page has been rethought with an "improved" pattern glued over the inferior one.

 Another favorite, and among the books that compelled this hooker to bloody learn to knit,  are these copies of Leach's.  Take a look.  Do I really have to explain?  I mean, that cape is faaaaaaabulous!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Your Subwayhooker has been out of circulation for way too long and nary the day passes when she doesn't feel the burning desire to share a mot, Bon or no, with what appears to be some regular visitors.  Imagine my surprise to see that some of you haven't given up on me.

Rather than annoy the lot of you with maudlin excuses, lets just jump into it, shall we?

If memory serves ( and that's a stretch these days), I may have shared my admiration, nay, obsession with Japanese crochet and knit design. Witness the latest result of my dropping copious yen at Kunokuniya Books near Bryant Park:

First of all, the sweet, sweet sweater on the cover is crocheted ohmigod. But this simple cover taint nothing compared to the treats that await inside. Check out this awesome cowl that I think would work well with a bit o' Lion Brand Amazing yarn:

They also have this fabulosity within:

Check it out - the neck and bottom opening are offset to create a whole Commes des Garçon vibe, which your Hooker thinks is hot hot hot.

But the Japanese aren't the only ones doing this right. For all over quality, it's really tough to beat the German publication Filati Handknitting for cool and sophisticated design. The issue I picked up (50, if you must know) is chock full of breathtaking designs for home and human.

A sample:

And another:

Rather than drag this post out, lemme sign off for now and start working on making more eye grub for y'all!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Where has the time gone?

It's a bit embarrassing, this. Disappear for months on end, all the while working fastidiously on projects in the background.

But there ya go.

Some things of import: cats are still adorable, but no longer kittens, of course. Still producing stellar breadstuffs on a weekly basis. Latest is whole wheat sourdough, which is not only fab when uber-fresh, but enjoys a second life when the stale bits are made into savory bread puddings or added to soups.

But what you really care about, if you care at all, is the yarnstuffs. And I have been making stuff, cranking it out, some dismal failures, like the Anthro Inspired Capelet and Rosa's Sleeveless Cardi Jumper:

 some lovely as all get out. See?  Just to be clear - the above failures are my fault, not the patterns or the designers.  The capelet was way too small and the cardi, way too big.  I plan to revisit both.  Stuff that went well include the Tea Shawl from Lion Brand, Tosca by Dora Ohrenstein, and a couple of Animekko cats, made as gifts...


But for some reason, I've lately glommed onto a desperate need to complete the UFOs what have been cluttering my new and fabulous workroom. They are piled in the corner like turds. And really, they deserve much better.
 So here is one of the first, rescued from the turd pile and quickly completed:

That's the Scalloped Cowl from Lion Brand.

Below is the hibernating Shipwreck Shawl.  Distressing side note:  My Knitpick's circular cable snapped right below the connector on the damn R train, freeing a bunch of stitches in its wake!  Sorry Knitpicks, but I'm pissed off about that!!!  I mean, what the hell?

And here's the kicker: This isn't all!  I've also been trying my hand at needlefelting, urged on by the gift of a gorgeous Japanese book on the same.  Started by making some beads, then graduated to what was supposed to look like a clog, but ended up looking like Grandpa Simpson's lost slipper.  Ah, well. 

And there are more projects, too!  Here's hoping I get and keep my ass in gear and get back to posting weekly...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Has it Been That Long?

Hmmm... I suppose I owe you a bit of an explanation, some reason why I'd abandon this little blog, if even just for a few months.

The short form is that we have crossed the threshold into new territory and are 3/4 of the way through renovating my dad's apartment, and turning our 2 family into a one family house. What does this mean besides eliminating extra income from collecting rent, higher utility bills, a larger financial burden overall, and increased pressure to continue churning out at my stressball of a job?

Well, it means a real workroom -- exposed brick walls, room for sewing machine, serger, and dressmaker dummies; room for yarn to be organized; for books and magazines to be accessible and vintage stash to be safe and viewable.

It means a spa bathroom designed by a real designer that will look as nice or nicer than magazine shots.

It means a library for our many, many books - a place to chill and relax and read in quiet.

It means a killer sun-room with seven windows and an adjoining bedroom with pocket doors.

It means more open space with light pouring in from two skylights.

It means a friggin' walk-in closet!

In other words, a better respite from the cold cruel world (nah, I don't actually view the world that way, just when the trains get really screwed up...).

So yeah, this project is sucking the energy out of us, but light is at the end of the tunnel. I'll be posting a couple of pics when it makes sense.

In the meanwhile, what of yarnly pursuits? Well, I've been working on Andrea's Shawl, which has not been terribly difficult, but I am making a meal of it, as hubsy would say. It's taking way too long just to get past the lace bit. But I am using Lion Brand Superwash Merino and I gotta say, it's a lovely bit of yarn. Particularly for the price.

I'm hoping it'll be done by autumn.

And breadmaking continues apace, though I have moved onto making a whole wheat sourdough, and am loving it! Sourdough is a bit miraculous to me. I find feeding it (them?) every week is very amusing.

The kittens are adults now, and as such, better start pulling their weight around here.

What else?

I picked up the most wonderful cookbook recently called Vegan Yum Yum, which I absolutely love. I'm not vegan (not even a strict vegetarian), but I am finding the recipes to be fantastic and creative and delicious, so I'll keep making them. Hey, whatever I can do to keep more animals alive... Oh, and her blog of the same name is awesome, too. Do yourself a favor and try the Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup. i added mushrooms to the mix with yummy results.

I've got other news for you, but it's going to have to keep for the mo'. I do promise it won't be so long between postings!

Ta for now!