Saturday, June 21, 2014

World Wide Knit in Public Day (Week?!?!)

WWKIP day (which I've recently discovered has since expanded into a week) was this past Saturday.   The knitting ladies and I usually spend it in Bryant Park at Knitty City's annual celebration.

Gertrude Stein is nice and toasty on a warm June day.

There are usually over 30 knitters that turn out and sometimes there's even live entertainment and snacks.  Last year there was a great turnout.



We even had our own designated table and a hand made sign.  Pearl from Knitty City makes all fiber crafters feel like old friends.  That's why I think Knitty City is the best yarn store in the world.

Our table sign.

We are the Astoria Knitting ladies. (And we really like our sunglasses.)

This year, however, we had to miss the Knitty City gathering to attend a different more awesome event: Brandy's bridal shower!  She's getting married in September and her family and friends got together to celebrate.  We're super happy for her and her groom.

Brandy in her ribbon bonnet.

And there was, of course, still knitting in public that day.  You can't keep a good (obsessed, whatever!) knitter down.  There were three shawls, a sweater, and a blanket all being worked on while Brandy opened presents.  We heard a lot of' "I should have brought my knitting (crochet, etc.)" as people passed our table, but my favorite was "Oh! You really ARE the knitting group!"  

Yes, yes we are,
Joyce


P.S. Brandy isn't the only lady in our group that's getting married this year.  (I'd worry that it's contagious except I've been married quite a while now.  Which means I'm a carrier!) The other one, however, is getting married on Rhinebeck weekend.  Luckily Rhinebeck is two days, so we don't have to make any awkward decisions. (Who am I kidding? We wouldn't dream of missing her wedding!  But maybe I should distribute a calendar of important knitting dates next year.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Catching up - Graduation

Yep, you heard me right.  I graduated!!!  I'm officially a Dr. now! (of the PhD kind, so please don't ask me about your mole.  Unless you're just looking for someone to go 'EW!' with you because I can totally do that!)  There was cake and everything!


My defense was held on Dec. 21, 2012.


Yes, the day the world was supposed to end.  I figured either way it was a win/win situation for me.  Either the world would end and I wouldn't have to defend.  Or the world would keep on spinning and my defense would be over by the end of the day.  Happily the world didn't end and I successfully defended my thesis!!!  (If you're wondering, yes, the picture above WAS part of my defense talk.  Had to give a shout out to my love of fibery things.)

Gigi came up for my defense and for graduation.  She surprised me with a 'congrats on your successful defense' hat with beetles on it.  I had already made myself an awesome highlighter scarf out of Madtosh Pashmina to celebrate the occasion.  They don't match at all, but they kept me toasty all through winter.


Graduation was great! Gigi, Elle, the twins (TK and KT), and of course Hubbie all came. (There were a limited number of tickets otherwise it would have been a madhouse!) The cap and gown for graduation were pretty ridiculous.


Hubbie joked that I looked like I was doing Harry Potter cosplay. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)  It rained really hard that morning which made me happy. (I love the rain!  It also helps that I didn't get soaked. :-D)

Gigi and the twins gave me flowers.  Peonies all around. (My favorite! They were SO pretty!!!!)  GiGi brought me one from her garden at home.



It still doesn't feel quite real.  I've been asked several times if I have a PhD, and a couple of times I've almost said no.  But I'm getting there.  How can it not be true?  There was cake and balloons.  They wouldn't lie, right?


I'll try not to let it go to my head,
Dr. Joyce

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dusty... Where did the time go?

Shew! This blog is covered in dust!  Where's my rag?  ::wipe, wipe, ACHOO!::
There, that's better.

It's been crazy around here since the last time we talked.  Turns out that a lot can happen in a year and a half.  I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to tell you all about it over the next few weeks while we catch up. Can't talk much today though 'cause I'm feel a nap coming on after all of that dusting.

Before I go, I absolutely have to share one of the amazing things that happened since we last spoke.

This is Polly Prissypants!  (We got a puppy!!!!)

Here she is at 7 weeks...



And now, nearly five months later...



She's Chihuahua/Terrier mix (A cheerier!!!) and about 8.5 lbs right now.  And I love love love her! (I'm sure you couldn't tell, right?)

Excuse me while I go give puppy kisses!
Joyce

Monday, June 11, 2012

And we have a winner!

As knitters, aren't we all winners?


Congratulations Lindr!  I sent you an email with more details. (Hopefully you got it!) I also love MMario's work.  He designs such amazing shawls!

I think that all knitters (crocheters, crafters, artisans, etc.) are amazing and ingenious.  Being able to turn something as simple as string into something as complex as fabric still amazes me.  I'm surrounded by crafters (in person and online) that have their own unique style and way of producing their craft.  I think each and every one is brilliant for trying (whether or not they succeed (because I know that I have at least three things on my list of crafts that I just can't seem to get my brain, or hands, to do)).

As a thank you to everyone who entered (and those that just stopped by) I'm offering 10% off of your entire purchase of the patterns in my Ravelry store for the next week. Just use the coupon code:  contest110 

Eligible patterns include my latest release: the Quetzal Shawl.


If it wasn't for EZ, I may never have figured out how to purl continental style,
Joyce
ETA: EEK! I made a mistake when making the coupon, so it may not of worked for some of you.  It should be working now.  I've pushed back the expiration date to June 25th.  Sorry for the confusion.

P.S. Coupon can only be used once.  Expires June 18, 2012 at 11:59 Eastern US time zone.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Amazing Ingenuity

The ingenuity of people never ceases to amaze me.  I love seeing the ways that knitters alter and change patterns to suit their own needs and sense of beauty.  I'm especially amazed when I see a knitter take a design and turn it into something completely different. 

For instance, meet the Omelet Sunbrella


wyvon54 altered the pattern for Omelet to make it into a parasol (being a girl of the deep south, I understand the need for sun protection and beauty that is represented by the parasol).  But how awesome is that name: Sunbrella.  I just want to keep saying it over and over (until it stops making sense, then pause, and start saying it again. (You may want to avoid me for a while.))

Incredibly ingenious is EvaWood's Omelet Tunic.


Seriously, she made a sweater out of Omelet!  And it turned out gorgeous.  It kinda makes me want to make one too (but you know my history with sweaters).  I love the way the edging looks around the bottom of the tunic.  It also kinda makes me want to design sweaters (but again, I'd have to knit them, and you know how that usually turns out... although if I made it sleeveless...)

On a different note, I have potentially exciting news.  I decided to have a contest.  When Omelet topped 3000 favorites on Ravelry I was super duper, oh my goodness, ridiculously, beside myself excited (I like to keep my excitement goals modest) and I want to share the excitement with a contest.  The prize includes: three skeins of Koigu KPM (100% Merino, 175yds (160m)/50g) 1043 colorway, a $5 coupon from GiGi's Etsy shop (Thanks GiGi!), and a couple of surprises. 


All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by June 10th telling me who your favorite ingenious knitter of all time is.  I will draw the winner's name and post it Monday the 11th.  Good luck!

Can I enter my own contest?
Joyce

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lovely Lace Laundering

I'm sure I've made no secret of my love of knitting lace.  However, thanks to Pinterest, I've recently been reacquainted with my love of other lace (all things lace, really).  When my mom took me to look at fabric as  kid, I was always drawn to the lace, be it eyelet or Venice style lace.

So, while I was surfing Pinterest and looking at skirts (because I've recently developed a desire to wear a skirt occasionally (this is a shocker to those that see me regularly because I have only worn skirts outside my apartment maybe once or twice a year for the past ten years (and only when visiting GiGi (Dude, this is four nested parentheticals! Score!)))), I rediscovered lace (I think we've talked about this before).  Now I want to put lace on everything.  I'm not going to (I'm still not sure why not, but GiGi said no), but I've been drooling over it anyway (my poor keyboard).




As a result, I purchased a 2lb assorted grab bag of discontinued or remnant lace from LaceHeaven (Yes, that is where I want to go when I die, why do you ask?) (It was one of only three they were selling, but there are also a lot of lots of lace on Ebay.  Go look, I'll wait.  Nice, right?)  The only drawback to it being leftovers was that much of the lace was stained with age and needed to be laundered.  (Don't tell anyone, but my inner fiber geek said "yay!")

So for the past week, whenever I've had a spare moment, I've been washing lace.  I've mostly been using Oxyclean because it really does power out the stains. 

I'm including a short tutorial in case you also ever have to wash lace.

Note: You'll want to try this on a small piece before you do the entire amount to test how the lace will hold up to cleaning and if you like the final result.

How to launder lace (using Oxyclean)
1) Add Oxyclean to water.  I used 3/4 cup to 2 gallons of water.  Stir to dissolve completely.


2) Place lace into the water.  Stir again to thoroughly soak the lace in the solution.  It should get really sudsy.


3) Soak for one hour.  (I recommend knitting while you wait, but if you've got something else you need to do... I'm sorry.)  Check after an hour.  If the stains appear to be gone, continue with step 4, otherwise let it soak some more.  (If not all of the stains have been removed after a couple of hours of soaking, they may not be coming out.  I recommend dyeing.  It's also a great deal of fun, plus what are you going to do with all of that white lace.)

4) Rinse thoroughly. I soaked the lace in the bathroom sink, but then used the bathtub to rinse.


5) Wrap in a towel and squeeze to remove the excess water. 


6) Long strands can be placed on a hanger to dry, but I recommend placing any appliques on a flat surface to dry. (I used the cardboard cutting board that I block shawls on.)


7) It usually takes about 8-10 hours for them to dry completely (probably less, but I like to be sure it's completely dry).

8) Giggle happily and wrap yourself in the beautiful, clean lace while doing a happy dance.  (This step is optional, but I don't know how you'll avoid it.)

The difference between the clean and dirty lace is quite dramatic.


Now to put lace on everything (::whistles:: Here Winnie!),
Joyce

P.S. Song of the week: Somebody that I used to know, Gotye.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring flowers

Spring is fully upon us.  Every time I walk anywhere in the city, I try to take the time to enjoy the beautiful flowers in bloom.  I recently got the to spend some time in the garden that surrounds the American Museum of Natural History. 



The sun was shining.



The flowers were beautiful.





I couldn't ask for a better place to knit.


(Madtosh lace in Fig held double.)

Happy Spring,
Joyce