Monday, September 29, 2008

Catch-up hook-up

We're back from ACL -- I mean, of course, Austin City Limits Music Festival. Which was awesome, by the way. Mighty awesome.

We saw old faves like M. Ward, Jenny Lewis, Connor Oberst, Gillian Welch, Abigail Washburn, David Byrne, Iron & Wine, and Neko Case, and new faves like Spiritualized, and The Octopus Project.

The Austin Craft Mafia was there and I am happy to report a healthy appreciation for all things crafty in Austin.

And I hooked.
Oh yeah, right out there in the open, for all the world to see, bold as you please. I would have been a bit happier if I'd seen anyone else crafting, but alas, I saw no one. That said, I did get a few people asking what I was making. One nice woman was a knitter who mentioned how she'd like to crochet. Another was a man who's mom crochets, so he recognized it right away.

Oh, did I mention I shopped for yarn at the amazing Hill Country Weavers in SoCo. It's like a rabbit's warren of little rooms filled with yarny delights!

I finished CopperScaleDragon's Skluvs, yes I did. Okay, maybe not the end-weaving part, but they are indeed lovely!

Saw some mighty cool things in that hot little town:
I think I may have had a margarita or two at Guero's Taco Bar:
All in all, a great time!

I need to do a couple of quick shout-outs:
First of all, the current issue of Interweave Crochet is one of the bestest in ages - I don't know where to start.

Also, my copy of Blueprint Crochet arrived today and I am awestruck! Robyn, it's fabulous!

Ohmigod, I'm gushing, aren't I? Sorry! But I'm seriously jazzed by these new sweets that showed up in my mailbox - Smiley's Yarn Sale and the Sheep and Wool Festival can't come fast enough!

Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


So I got back from the Netherlands last night, and hubsy and I are heading to Austin Texas for the Austin City Limits Music Festival way too early tomorrow morning. So how was Amsterdam, you may well ask?

Way too brief, I might answer.

Above, a shot of my hotel room near Central Station. I arrived on Sunday morning in the wee wee hours after 7 1/2 hours of a guy next to me for whom bathing was optional and deodorant, some new-fangled technology with which he dare not engage. Did I mention the 4 year old behind me kicking the back of my seat all night? And that the mother kept her up? Yeah, sweet.

Bitch, bitch, bitch. I know, I hear the chorus now. We'll see what tomorrow brings when I'm flying my nemesis, Continental, whom faithful readers know I loathe with every fiber of my being. A report will be forthcoming...

But what of Amsterdam, you are probably asking? Did any crochet or yarnish endeavors take place? Well, let's review:
I have been working on CopperScaleDragon's Skluvs. Here's righty!

Okay, ease up - the pics were taken with my phone, for crap's sake. But they are coming out well, if I do say so. While on the subway the other day, a lady interrupted my precious podcast-listening time to chat about them (Jane, she thought they were awesome!). I'm using some un-labeled yarn purchased at last Fall's Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. I'll post on these and other mitt-related topics upon our triumphant return to beautiful Brooklyn, NY. Till then, if any of you know of some cool yarny shops in Austin that the Hooker MUST NOT MISS, let me know, okay???

Sunday, September 14, 2008


There are days, like today, where I get completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of projects I'd like to do. This includes not only crochet (other people's patterns, trying to design my own), but cooking (banana bread, savory bread pudding, eggplant and tomato gratin), jewelry-making (the focus of my fine art degree), reading (oh, about a million books on the list), trying to re-do my storage room into the work room that it was intended to be...the list goes on. Days like this make me feel scattered and unproductive, because no matter what I did get accomplished, it's the stuff left undone that looms large to me.

On the "accomplished" list, I can include the following:
A Giovanna's Cardi from Lion Brand for my stepdaughter, Margot.

The Betty Shrug ambles on....

And the Chanson en Crochet, mentioned a long time ago in this here blog, is complete. Honestly, I'm not thrilled with it, but it has to do with color choice, or lack thereof...

I have a lot of travel coming up, so I'm hoping to get in some good crocheting time while in flight. Might also try to use the time to do some knitting, as well. I've dropped the ball on that and I really want to get my brain around it. I'll show what I've done so far, for your amusement, in a future post.

Till then....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Crochet One, Save One

Okay, so the names not quite what Save the Children intended, but what the hell. The program is called Knit One, Save One, but what really matters is that this great organization is asking all us hookers and stickers to make some wee caps for littl'uns around the world. Their current drive runs through December 31st and I, for one, am partaking. And while I know a lot of you are already giving to some wonderful organizations, I'd like to encourage those of you who currently don't to consider participating in this drive.

Now, I'm not a joiner at all, but this seems like a fabulous way to burn some stash and help some little baby have a better chance of survival. What amazes me is that something so simple, so basic, can actually help save a life. And talk about a perfect subway hooker project! I can crank one of these out before I hit the Manhattan Bridge!

Save the Children has put together a cool kit that even has patterns to follow, some of which are easy enough for this non-knitter to follow! They have some pretty basic crochet patterns, too, so there's something for everyone.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'm finishing up a little cardigan for Margot, my adorable French stepdaughter -- what can I say -- her birthday's coming up and the package of goodies is sailing this weekend, but those caps will be flying from these fingers!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Hand Tease and some Randomnity

Yeah, I'm crocheting, see? I made these wristlets from Drops Garnstudio. They were easy-peasy and simple-pimple. And they speak to a growing obsession of mine: gloves, mitts, wristlets, armwarmers... Any kind will do.
Although these are hibernating, t'were I to use Ravelry parlance, these lovely Manchettes are part of the obsession. I picked up StitchDiva's new pattern, as well as a couple from CopperScaleDrago from Ravelry to work on. But a bigger post on the topic is coming soon - I'm just gathering all the pieces together right now....

In the meanwhile, I spent some time today at Astroland in my beloved Coney Island, as it was its official last day of operations. As you know, I am enamored with this gritty, beautiful part of Brooklyn, and it kills me to see it devoured by scumbag developers with no sense of history or community.

On a final quick note, remember how last week I talked about all the wineries I went to? Some good and some less so? Well, color me shocked if a couple of the wineries mentioned didn't reach out to me! Duckhorn, bless their hearts, appreciated the nice words I had to say about them. They were well-deserved, let me tell ya!

And to their credit, Artesa, whom I completely dissed, also wrote to me asking for a more constructive version of the criticism I leveled at them. Fair enough, and I respect that they contacted me after what I said. While I've not heard back from them after sending them a more thoughtful version of my experience, I am shocked that the wineries even bother reading SubwayHooker, let alone sending me emails about what I've written! Go figure.