Skrilla Knits

Knitting has long been considered antiquated, something for grandmas and whipped little housewives. That just isn't true. Knitting is one of those minute to learn, lifetime to master deals, and I'm in it for the long haul.


A keeper.

Today was absolutely effin' insane at Webs. There is no delicate, euphemistic way to put it. I feel like the team of six that worked today are now in a sorority of sorts. Why was it so busy? Take your pick:

1. Cummington Sheep and Wool.
2. Graduations/reunions for many of the 5 area colleges (UMass, Smith, Amherst, Mt. Holyoke, Hampshire, also known as Scooby, Velma, Fred, Daphne and Shaggy).
3. Paradise City Arts Festival.
4. A bus filled with NY knitting and spinning guild members.
5. The last day of the anniversary sale!
6. General Saturday mayhem.

I have never been so glad to come home. Don't get me wrong, short of being

a. a Ben and Jerry's taster
b. a gossip magazine inspector
c. a squirrel whisperer

I can't imagine a more fun way to spend my time than working in one of knitting's bustling epicenters, but I've had it with this week. And just look at what I came home to:

Eric made me a bookcase! He just told his mother that he "karate chopped the wood with his bare hands". It's not done, it's missing a shelf and whatever stain/paint/decopage finish I can dream up but it's a BIG SHELF, for all my treasures!!

He also put my clothespins to use! This makes me happy since it was a big goose hunt to find them. I had to go to Wal-Mart (boo, hiss) to find any at all:

I'm 2 deep into a 6-pack of my favorite libation Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat (when I lived in Germany, it was common to mix beer and fruit juice and my favorite combo was hefeweizen and 'saurkirchensaft'/sour cherry juice) and I have absolutely no knitting content for you. I'm sorry. I recieved an unexpected store credit this week and spent it all very quickly. I have a lot of designing to do (for myself and maybe the Craftsters) in the next few days. Until then I'll leave you with some randominity. A picture from one of my favorite television shows, Everwood (cancelled?!), featuring Bright Abbott/Chris Pratt who will star in the LONG ANTICIPATED (by me) Strangers with Candy movie due out this summer.

Yeah, he's a babe, she's a babe, but do you see what I see? NORO!

P.S. The Cardigans? Really good band. Sexy. Incidentally my favorite item to knit since I wear them as much as possible and think they are the most versitile and economical use of knitting resources.

Last cool thing for today, a picture taken at a recent outdoor show which was pure Western Mass magic (it is Phil Elvrum from Mount Eerie). This was taken when he was singing a new song--he had to consult his notebook for the lyrics. There was a bonfire, marshmallows toasting and the bass drum is lit from behind. During Jason Anderson's set he asked us to leave the warmth of the bonfire and go to the middle of a field. He asked us if we wanted to "get tribal" and improvise songs. It was dark and though we started out shy it slowly became beautiful. Jason asked "is this too weird?" and someone shouted "let's make it weirder!!" It was super fun.

Das ist alles!



Tons of words.

The tent sale is OVER!! It ended with a hail-storm bang, and while a group of us frantically tried to move everything back into the garage, the yarn-buying persisted. My boss offered a perfectly decent bag of fuschia merino wool to a woman for FREE and she balked: "But it's for a boy, it's the wrong color!". Insantity. But, I will miss it. I don't think I'll be able to quit Webs cold turkey come September, and I hope I can be useful there once or twice a week at least.

It occured to me that the past few months have gone by in a blur and I haven't done a thing for Project Spectrum, except by accident. Well, no more. My interest in color is multi-faceted, informed by art theory and spiritual association. I am not a religious person by any means but I like the role color plays in Southeast Asia, specifically in Indian culture and yoga practice. I have never chosen a favorite color because I am drawn to almost all of them at different times for different reasons. This makes it hard to dress myself sometimes, since my closet is a cacophony of color!

May is for green and green is the closest thing to a favorite color that I have. For me green most often represents verve. It's energizing for me and I find it beautiful in almost all it's incarnations, from the quietest olive to the most exuberant lime. After two weeks of solid rain here in New England, the landscape is such an intense swath of lush, flickering green that I am almost overwhelmed.

This love for green defintely manifests itself in my knitting. My stash is overflowing with the shade and I have to make a conscious effort to not make it a default. Since I started knitting swatches for the store, you can see all of my little green flags hanging on hooks next to shelves and shelves of yarn. This is a mini-sweater I made with green scraps, and it's only a tiny fraction of my greens:

This picture is a totally unintentional homage to Zach Braff, who I love:

In my spiritual context, green is the color of the fourth chakra, located at the same level as the heart and it represents love, especially unconditional, empathetic love. It links intellect and spirit. It's interesting to me because according to yogic belief we spend about 7 years in each chakra, and it's the one I'm currently in.

In case this sounds like crap (and believe me, I'm the world's biggest skeptic) there are parallels between developmental psychology and the chakra stages. For instance, adolecents are in the third chakra, which is located at the solar plexus and concerned mostly with personal power, self-esteem and self-image, and willfullness. Sounds like that age (14-21) to me!

This might be getting in too deeply, but I consider myself a Unitarian Universalist (I'm in good company!) so for me these ideas about chakras are interesting and useful, but are by no means the only thing I believe.

Hope you're having a nice Monday,


P.S. Check out this hilarious transformation from knitter to junkie. Can't say I don't relate!


Blogger's block.

I've got it. No good reason, I just have been feeling a little burnt (burned?) out by the 24-7 yarnfest that is my life. There are way too many things I want to knit and since I'm trying to sleep/read/exercise more, I almost feel resentful of knitting sometimes. Is that crazy, to have a contentious relationship with an inanimate thing? Don't answer, I know it is.

Things that are good:

1. A cloche I designed was accepted and will appear in a book edited by Gwen Steege at Storey Publishing. It is due out this November and the best part is that all the patterns submitted by my Webs coworkers were accepted!

2. My knitting model career just gets better and better--now I'm going to be appearing on the cover of the next Webs catalog, as well as in the ads that go in Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting--eep. I'll be modeling the gorgeous Guernsey designed by my co-teacher and co-worker Kirsten. iIf you ever call Webs, there is a good chance you've talked to her. I make fun of her for the way she coos "Hello, Webs", like a knittin' vixen.

3. On a particularly draining day I came home to this, compliments of Chef Eric:

Sorry for using the hardwood floors as a go-to background, I can't help it. I stroke them and croon the James Blunt song to them daily (your're BEAUtiful, you're BEAUtiful, it's truuue....")

And sorry for the lackluster posting.



Meet Clara.

It's early and I really should be getting ready for work, just wanted to post the sweater that kept me busy for the past month. I'd also like to apologize for A) being a lazy blogger and B) not responding to any of the nice comments I've been getting. Eric installed Linux so he's been hogging his computer and I've been sitting across the room staring bitterly. Yes, I have my own but it's in another room and I like to be right in the middle of things, if that makes sense.

Like the piece in the previous post, this is an original design for Valley Yarns. The yarn, Deerfield (available soon!) is an alpaca silk blend that is delicious to work with. The finished fabric is so nice I couldn't believe I'd knit it myself.

I had started this sweater intending it to be a deep v-neck wrap but a miscalculation totally screwed up the slope and it wasn't as vixenish as I wanted it to be. No matter, I put it on the mannequin and immediately the two crochet-edged fronts flopped over. Maybe because of their shape or maybe because of the 4 stitches of 1x1 ribbing I did at each front's looked perfect! Like I'd planned it all along! Like lapels! What's better is that instead of the ribbon ties I bought to sew on, you can get a cool shawl pin from the lovely couple that someone at Stitches West called (affectionately) "neo-hippies", the Moving Mud people.

Oh, I call this one Clara, after Clara Bow:

A note about the last sweater...the fact that I had to improvise a strapless bra and the fact that I have an abnormally long torso make the tank look really kind of immodest/not flattering (by my standards). I assure you it looks nice on properly undergarmemtted others!

Lastly, a recipe! My favorite summer treat, and delicious if you like Brussel sprouts.

Wash and cut sprouts in half lengthwise. Boil, steam or stick in microwave with a few inches on water for 2-3 minutes on high. In the meantime chop up the best bacon you can find and fry, fry, fry. When sprouts are soft enough to eat, drain and shake dry to prevent splattering. Move the bacon to the sides of the pan and place sprouts cut side down onto pan. Do no disturb for several minutes. After sprouts are browned on one side, stir in a tablespoon or so of spicy brown mustard. Remove from heat and devour.

Can I get any scientific opinions on how much I negate the goodness of Brussel sprouts with bacon?




Meet the first of my two designs for Valley Yarns. I'm calling this little thing Trinket for now and I hope to add pictures of it's more substantial friend Clara the cardigan very shortly.

This skimpy little number brought to you by Sugarloaf. I assure you that it isn't quite as...sparse on women with shorter torsos.


P.S. I got a haircut, can you tell?