Edging toward adulthood… Tuesday, Aug 15 2006 

So I’m back from Stitches Midwest. Once again, it was great fun. I feel like they’re little five-day internships for me because I learn so much from Andra and the Elkins, directly and indirectly. They’re all very shrewd people and I mean that in the best way. I feel like a broken record saying this but this year has held so many surprises for me, and so much unexpected training. I just wanted to have a way to pay my share of the rent but instead I discovered a whole other career possibility and got a crash course from people who are right on top of the industry–ridiculous luck, eh?

But enough about that, you probably want to see my haul, eh? Well, it is small but precious. The first thing that caught my eye was this giant shawl pin hanging on the burlap walls of the Moving Mud booth. It looks like a huge piece of cherry candy!

The artists and owners staff the booth and they (Sarena and Jon or maybe Serena and John) are both lovely, hilarious people and their glass has to be seen in real life to be fully appreciated. They just had a tiny newborn baby, Scout and she was super fun to make faces at and coo over. I ran into Jillian Moreno and she agreed–Jillian by the way is gorgeous!! Perfect skin and blue eyes and her hair is a mass of curls the color of my shawl pin! She wore a rocking black vintage shirt-dress with big yellow roses on it–Girl is straight-up fashion plate.

Some Brooks Farms Primero in a very mermaid-y color, a gift! Thank you, giftee =) There was a mega-soft sample with a halo that looked and felt more like angora but Sherry the dyer confirmed that it was just well-loved Primero. While I was talking to Randall from Brooks Farms he noticed my name and asked if I would be okay with them using it! I said it’d be an honor, their stuff is gorrrrrrrrrrrgeous! We’ll see what happens with that.

Speaking of hand-dyed yarn, Gail’s yarn did VERY well and I had to reserve this one for myself because it looks exactly like a real rainbow. Oh and it happens to match the other shawl pin I picked up from Moving Mud:

Shelridge Farm was right across the way and after squeezing a few of the super soft woolie skeins I had to buy a few.

Believe it or not, I got tons of crap from my co-workers every time I bought something. I was called a sucker a number of times, which only pissed me off the 18th time I heard it. Whatever, it was a welcome change to be the yarn customer and not the yarn seller. I want to make something vaugely Icelandic with this.

I also got a few things from Habu, a booth filled with modern, Matrix-y sweaters knit in very cool fibers. It got more of what I bought at West, a kid mohair silk thing in greenish pewter and some vegetable dyed cashmere.

Koigu, in a wildly pretty coral pink:

And a demure beige/sage/purple mix that will become gloves for me:

And guess what–I actually knit! This is the first of two Blooms (like this one), about 1/4 done:

The color (Treacle–think Harry Potter would find me fetching in it?) is soooo cool, a reddish brown-black with yellow and blue tweed nubs. I’m really into yellow these days, oddly.

Well, that’s everything. It’s the final countdown at Webs. Graduate school starts soon and if I stop to think about it I’ll definitely start to fret about it. Guess I’ll just dive into the fall magazines and start sketching so that when I get my birthday present to myself I will be ready to rip.

Hardwood floor,


P.S. Yeah, I know, I gorged. I feel slightly guilty. I’m having a tag and/or eBay sale soon to make up for it. Speaking of guilt and eBay…I just purchased my shoes for grad school. In an effort to look a little less teenaged I have been slowly inching toward shoes that are more substantial than my favorite Reef flip-flop/Vans slip-on rotation. I refuse to be uncomfortable and I am wildly picky about shoes, but I finally settled on these Frye Campus boots. I have always liked the look, it’s been around since the 70s and everyone on Zappos swears that they’re sturdy and comfy. I like the heel and the height and I think the robin’s egg blue/grey is something that will force me to put together creative outfits. I hope. Fingers crossed!


It’s TOO NICE! Monday, Aug 7 2006 

To stay indoors. So Eric and I finally went to Look Park. It just made us want to go camping or hiking for real, but it was nice to be out in the lovely non-scorching sunshine. Plus, there was a petting zoo!

Pigmy Goat butt! I swear he was posing for the people on the other side of the fence.

Spooning bunnies!

This guy was so mellow!

Even though we didn’t have any wholesome foods to offer.

The best/worst part of the day was watching a crappy Dad climb over barriers to take close-up pictures of a bald eagle. Bad example, Pops. He also called a pair of owls “fuckers” for not doing anything interesting for him to photograph. They’re nocturnal, genius! Not to mention caged.

Good day,


"It’s TOO GOOD!" Sunday, Aug 6 2006 

That’s what Carrie Bradshaw said over and over again when she first stepped into The Vogue Closet. That’s how I feel at work now. By the way, I love the fact that the Internet knew exactly which scene I was talking about and had a supporting image for me. Thanks, Internet.

Between the Noro and the Rowan and the Nature Wool, I’m feeling like the world of yarn is going to be very hard to leave. My bosses have been joking that this is all a timed ploy to keep me from going to graduate school, and I must say, even as a joke, it’s mighty tempting What won’t help any is that I’m leaving for Chicago next Wednesday to work at Stitches Midwest with Andra Asars, who totally amazed me last time. She is a yarn rock star and had such good dirt on the industry. She was also full of good advice for someone who is trying to reconcile divergent interests in the academic and fiber worlds.

Everywhere I turn there are stories of people who started off in one realm and then ended up in yarn. I was very careful to balance all my critical communication courses with practical business classes so that I’d know what I was deriding…but somewhere along the way I feel like I’ve turned into an avid marketer, almost a shill! Something about it doesn’t feel corrupt or exploitative because in selling yarn, I’m promoting the act of creation which, in my view, is entirely beneficial for the consumer. No, producing your own clothing isn’t cost effective, and it isn’t necessary, but something about the process seems to close the modern chasm between consumer and producer, however infinitesimaly.

More on the Why I Like Rowan So Much question…I’ve often felt like I don’t have a discernable style. My closet is a hodgepodge of Salvie’s finds and sale items, and it causes much distress (and mess) in the A.M. If I had an infinite supply of money to create a “look” I wouldn’t really know how to go about it–I like so many disparate things that I’d end up looking like I did when I was 5 and my well-meaning mother let me dress myself. But! When I flip through the pages of Rowan I think to myself “I would totally wear that, and that and that…” It’s nice to see it all in one place. Just a few favorite To-Knits…

Over and out,


Permission granted… Thursday, Aug 3 2006 

…to spill the beans. Starting today, Webs is carrying ROWAN. Details at 11!

This is all the Nature Wool:

The warehouse, a.k.a. Noroland, a.k.a. The Happiest Place on Earth! But not for long…some colors were sold out before they were even unpacked.

And some of my precious…Rowan.

I have been earning store credits like mad in preparation for this week, and I think I’ve spent wisely so far. I snagged 8 skeins each of Kureyon in 116 and Silk Garden in 34, two of Noro’s best. They’re destined for sweaterdom, maybe a Rosedale and something of my own design. I got Cash Iroha in a bronze and a light bright robin’s egg blue, I’ll probably stripe them in some way. There were a few randoms and some Rowan patterns–magazine 40, 34 and A Yorkshire Fable. The Rowan Yarn will be here, so I’m not in such a rush to buy that. I’m planning to get a whole palette of the Nature Wool, the Chunky for an afghan and the worsted for various colorwork. Even one skein equals a hat, so I’m thinking holiday gifts.

When the radio ad was in production the Elkins asked me to describe why Rowan has so much pull with knitters. I feel somewhat silly about how effective their sales pitch is with me, but I can’t help it, and I don’t really mind all that much. It’s a complete aesthetic and one that I find really appealing. I gushed a lot more than that but I’m getting shy now. Anyhow, I’m really glad to have ready access to the stuff.

I should mention that all of this stuff arrives on a week where Eric has finally declared that he thinks I have too much yarn. He said he knows he can’t stop me from buying it, but he’s a little “impressed” with how much I have accumulated. I can’t argue with him, and I really do know that he’s right…but I don’t believe in diets of ANY kind, least of all stash diets…