Friday, October 29, 2004

The "missing" shawl - This is the one I made mention of when i still didn't know how to post a picture. Well, I've learned and boy are you in for a lot of pictures.

This is the shawl that I channeled from a very benevolent, very colorful spirit that grabbed me by the lapels and demanded that I take a break from black and white. I love this thing and am very happy with it. I wore it when i volunteered at the Knit-In in Union Square and a lot of people really liked it. It is made from Classic Elite's Provence and it took 2 skeins of hot pink, 2 skeins of orange, one skein of this wonderful celadon green (behind the checkerboard, is a very pale (almost beige) neutral green and 2 skeins of black. Because giving credit where credit is due is a good thing to do, I thank Nicky Epstein and her new book, "Knitting on the Edge", for the ruffle inspiration. What fun it was - and what great New York Subway knitting it proved to be. After you've dragged these projects through the highways and byways of the NYC transit system, you tend to think of them as traveling companions in the best sense.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Warm is Good

My husband says I never met a baby I didn't like - or think was beautiful. It's true, I happpily plead guilty. My late mom used to cry whenever she saw a new baby, and I'd always ask her why. "Because they're so brave", she'd say. She never explained more than that, but I think she might have meant that just to be born can be an act of faith - especially in world that is often cold. That's why it's important to help warm them as they make their way into the world we have created.

So, here comes the plug: An organization that I recently became aware of is It is a group of volunteer knitters who make basic warm clothing for infants and children on reservations (in the US), and in the orphanages of Eastern Europe. I'll let you go visit their site to find the details. I am also trying to help them out a little by asking everyone to consider making donations of unused wool directly to their headquarters in Colorado. The address is posted on their site. Since my stash is now running into two rooms, I figure it's time I stopped stroking and started mailing. They are looking for any pure wool or cotton yarn for their volunteer knitters. The need is especially strong since lots of these kids don't even have hot water, let alone heat. They can't use acrylic yarn since the washing conditions are very primitive., but they can sure use contributions of unused wool and cottons. The cotton is to make baby caps for infants. I am pretty sure they would love any "made" items as well, provided they fit the criteria for content. They even take small quantities of wool and cotton so nothing will go to waste. Please help them out by seeing what you can do. And, if you have any ideas regarding yarn companies that can be approached, do write and let me know. It's easy for me to ask for something as worthwhile as this. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Ms Kitty

Ms. Kitty

Toys - I love them - and I like knitting them almost as much as I love them. There's something about putting the little pieces together and seeing the personalities emerge - and it happens, i swear. Invariably I wind up hugging them. When I picture the person they are intended for, it makes me very happy to think of them laughing as a toy tumbles out of a box or a package. I made this for my pal's* first grand-daughter, Abigail. I gave it to her on the occasion of her brother's birth - I figured it might give her something to really squeeze when the going got a little tough. I found the pattern at a book sale. It was contained in an old better homes & garden book called "Gifts for Babies". It was the best dollar I spent that day. The whole thing took about 2 hours to knit and about an hour to make up - all from an existing stash of yarn. Win/Win. Another neat book I just love is Knit a Square & Make A Toy ( You can find it in the used books area, I bet. It's so funny to see what can be wrought from a plain old square.
*PS: my friend is a lot older than i am - and since she's not a knitter, I don't ever have to worry about her reading this and contradicting me - it's true, I swear!

Rear Window

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Rear Window Happiness

This is the view from my back door/window in my dining room/kitchen. This is a replica of Diana - Queen of the Hunt and it's in my artist/neighbor's back yard. When it first went up, I thought it was kind of grotesque, but I have grown to love this statue and I guess you could say it makes me happy to see it there every morning, rain or shine. She's particularly lovely in the snow. The original model for the original statue was Evelyn Nesbitt a famous beauty and show girl from turn-of-the-century New York. Her lover was Sanford White and he was shot dead as a doornail by her husband, Harry Thaw, who was crazy as a loon. Old Harry, scion of a very wealthy family, spent a few years in an asylum before he was sprung. It was a fabulous scandal that galvanized New York when wretched excess and extreme poverty kept people trapped in their different worlds and people fed off gossip about "the other half" - the more things change, the more things remain the same?

Fall Bounty - union square

i think i have got it, professor higgins

Here is the beginning of some of the pictures I promised. Only god know where it will finally pop up, but i'm using trial and error here so be patient. This is to be filed under, "What Makes Me Happy: I call this beauty: Fall harvest in union square.
(FYI: I have a recipe for a peach crostata that's so easy and yet makes one look like a genius in the kitchen - If you're interested, do write and i'll send it along.)

After another hour or two worth of work, I should have the next picture ready to go. Stay tuned.


As you can plainly see there is no picture here of a shawl or anything else. I'm a technologically impaired woman - i can't seem to do the same thing twice. So, have patience, I'll figure it out yet, and when i do, the pictures you'll see will be worth waiting for. Who knows when they'll appear - certainly not me!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Continuing the Quest for Happy

I have begun to receive answers to the happiness question. It's great to hear how joy-producing some of these things are: first cup of hot coffee, a new pattern, friends and a good meal, the Wednesday Food section of the New York Times (that one's mine), kids, gardens, good weather.
As many of my closest know, "happy" is a big issue for me right now since there are many unhappy things going in our world. Included in tomorrow's post (as soon as i can locate the picture in this mess called office) you will see a picture of something that has given me great happiness. I'm not sure exactly where it will pop up since i'm still learning how to navigate this thing, but I wanted everyone to see it.

Tonight, I had my bi-monthly knitting group here. Four of us get together (3 women, 1 out-numbered man) for chinese food, knitting, wine, boyfriend and husband talk and group therapy. We make the guy order the chinese food and at least once in the evening, we give him grief for being a typical guy, albeit one that knits. It works, but the knitting does tend to suffer. After a few glasses of wine, it's remarkable how many stitches get slipped. In the end, it's about the company and that's another thing that makes me happy.

I still remember the day I decided to do this shawl. The colors were such a departure from my usual every day fare of black and beige that it felt like I channeled it from some colorful spirit - and maybe I did. If so, it was a benevolent spirit. I have received so many compliments about it that I feel I should give credit to someone other than myself! My dear pal, Kay ( has even asked me for a copy of the pattern! If you knew Kay, you'd know that is a real compliment since she has wonderful taste and creates fabulous throws, knitted quilts and blankets - to name just a few of the things she turns out.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Heloise & Gilda (the dispossessed)

What Makes You Happy?

I sincerely wish to know - so please do tell me. That way I will know who I have reached, and what we have in common. I'll go first (surprise!). New York makes me happy. To go into the reasons why you'd need to speak with my shrink, my late parents, and my New York infused sense of what really counts in this world, but to put it succinctly, I think I love this city because it challenges me every day by never letting me be complacent and always tossing sweet surprises in my path. One of those sweet surprises came yesterday when i visited a terrific store named:
Mieko Mintz. It is a lovely shop located at 65 Thompson Street in Soho. The store is named after its owner who has an unerring sense of beauty and an appreciation for whimsy. She's very approachable - in fact, she approached me and we got to talking (not surprising!). Her store is filled with hand knit hats, scarves, clothes and accessories that she has made here and in Shanghai. She designs them and the world has started to beat a path to her door. Some have even sold out already. I wish she had a web-site, but she doesn't, yet - so I will just have to suggest to her that she build one. If you're in town, pls. go visit her. It's well worth the time.

Another very important find for me has been Tinsel Trading ( This is hands-down, one of the neatest and most unique trim and notions stores in New York - and in this city that's saying a lot. The story behind the store is neat, as is the owner, Marcia. - so go visit her site and read it. If you make anything by hand - or even if you don't - it's an inspiration just to visit there. Whimsy (a big word in my vocabulary) is in the details and this place is packed solid with fabulous treasures - a lot of which are vintage!

And before I go, here's a picture of something else I love - pictures which capture the moment, perfectly. This is my friend's new niece, and the resident cat who has still not recovered from the arrival of her charming competition. As is the way with innocence, the baby is blissfully unaware of the feelings of the "offended" party as she continues to exude good will and drool.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Day One

I have been considering creating my own personal blog ever since I found Mason Dixon Knitting - one of my personal favorites. To find a hard core group of determined and altruistic knitters in my own backyard has been a source of great good fortune. The most wonderful friendships and information about unique sources have come from this thing called blogging, and, today, I come into the fold with the hope that some of you will come in from the cold for a virtual cup of tea, some knitting and a lot of good natured observation.

I hope to share with you my favorite passions (and patterns) , wools and yarns that I have come to know and love (and some I am not so fond of), interesting places in New York (the city I have grew up in and have loved all my life) and anything else that enters my fibre infested brain.