It's hard to "IMAGINE" that at this time yesterday I was making my way through Central Park in New York City on my way to meeting a lovely fellow knitter and advocate for the knitting cause, Phyllis, whom I had met the day before on my Big Apple knitting store safari.

More about that tour later, but the day was perfect weather wise, so I decided to pretend that I was a real New Yorker and walk the 28N+10W blocks to the appointed restaurant from the apartment where we had stayed during our 4 days in the big city.
Now you don't have to be a whiz at math to recognize that if you cut diagonally across a space, it's shorter than walking around, so I cut through Central Park to get away from the constant NOISE (which amazingly all but disappears within 20 feet inside the park) and to shave a bit of time off my trek. I knew that I had to head North West as I was at 60th St E and wanted to get to 77th St W so I aimed myself in that direction (it's all so logically rectangular) and followed paths that were heading off to the leftish and found myself walking, by pure chance, into Strawberry Fields, of the song, and more recently immortalized by this Italian Mosaic tribute to John Lennon who was shot in front of his apartment just a few hundred feet away.
It was an amazing find, not just because I'm a bit of a Beatles fan, but more because I'm a completely, hopelessly addicted people watcher - and what a place to watch people. I'm sure that I heard 7 or 8 different languages in the few minutes that I spent there. There was every skin tone from probably every continent on earth among the 30 people who were respectfully looking at the few memorials that were left at the site. Someone had even left a battered guitar, covered with tacky stickers with a hand printed sign that said: "Make a wish". It appeared that whoever it was who deposited this token by the famous "Imagine" site was just passing on John's frustrated entreaties about thinking well of yourself, of your world, of those around you and your collective future.


Needless to say, none of this has anything to do with knitting but it does have a lot to do with what I find interesting in the world. The trip was magnificent in so many ways. And those of you who knew me 4 years ago, when we went on our first trip to New York will be pleased to hear that I made it back without breaking any bones - last time it was a bone in my right hand that go crushed in a trip/fall on our way back from a Broadway show.

The knitting side of the trip was fabulous, from the 90% completed glove of Malabrigo's new sock yarn, to meeting several shop owners and staff, and being surrounded by the beauties of yarns that are difficult for us to access here in Canada. But again, more about all the knitting stuff in the next few days.

The September newsletter should go out on time (Monday) and any of you who would like to receive it and have not signed up yet, please link at left to the sign up site. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.


Move Over Oprah, Look Out Martha, Debbie Bliss Has Arrived!

Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm always gushing, both here and in the newsletter, when I talk about things that I like. I guess the fact of the matter is that when I'm buying for the store I tend to order what I like, so I get to share what I like, and it always sounds like I like everything.

The Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine (premier issue) was something I expected would be lovely. Debbie is one of the few designers who was well established when I got into this business 12 years ago, and she is one of the few from that era who is still fresh, still creative and still around (from a design perspective, I mean)

It took a few days of carrying the magazine around in my Loblaws
Green Bin, which is my traveling office, before I got a chance to go through it with a coffee and a muffin this morning. I'm glad I took the time to sit and enjoy the experience as it is a publication deserving of some quality time to savour it. I LOVE IT!!!

Truly, for the first time in a long time Debbie had me drooling over each page (like she used to in my earlier days as a knitter, more than just an LYS owner) and planning how I could run away to a monastery dedicated to knitting in order to make every pattern. I could think of a recipient for each and every design, from the most simply glorious peplum sweater I have ever seen (for me, of course), to the mini egg cup cozy/sweaters (for my niece), to any of the gorgeous men's sweaters (all the guys in my family), to the stunning array of garter stitch baby blankets (and I don't even like garter stitch).

It's nice to spend a half hour every now and then, forgetting that I already have 3 socks, and 2 sweaters on needles, not to mention a lineup of ideas for designs for our pattern web site, floating around in my head. Anyway, check out Debbie's mag. (available at WOOL-TYME Kingston of course.) You'll like it too.


VOGUE Knitting - Fall 2008

Okay, so I'm not a computer geek, but neither am I about to spend any more time trying to get a copy of the whole cover of this fall's Vogue Knitting to reproduce itself here. First I got the top half, then the bottom half, then the top again. So this is what you're stuck with.

So what I was going to say was that I was really pleasantly surprised at how lovely this edition of the magazine is. Often Vogue Knitting is just a bit too out there for many of us in Kingston, but this one really rang a lot of bells for me.

First of all, they featured a great (and long) article about one of my heroines...Elizabeth Zimmerman, which truly gets inside her way of looking at life and knitting. As I've been going through the months, featuring her projects in our store's newsletter from her Knitter's Almanac, I'm feeling like she's becoming part of my family, and this article served to enhance the experience.
“I deliberately keep my knitting notes vague, because tastes vary, and your brains are as good as mine anyway.” – The Opinionated Knitter - Elizabeth Zimmerman

Next there was a great introduction to RAVELRY (http://ravelry.com/) , knitting's on-line community and site where knit-a-holics can support each other and generally enable each other in their delightfully creative addiction. Having really been launched just 15 months ago, RAVELRY has over 60,000 active users writing 30,000 posts a day, and boasting 787,000 projects declared in progress or finished by these knitters, with 1.6 million photos of projects. Users range from 13 to 92 years of age with the average age being 37 years old.
Finally this edition of Vogue Knitting featured a huge 6 page profile on knitting in Canada with listings for no fewer than 45 designers/importers in Ontario alone (And they didn't even include the wonderful ladies at EweCanKnit for whom we've sold hundreds of patterns over the years). Who knew that we Canadians were so prolific and important in the knitting world...well actually I did know, because I'm surrounded by the works of these delightfully creative people every day in the store and am proud to be part of that world.


Back at the Sheep Dog Trials/ Let the Games Begin!!!

This is me at last year's Sheep Dog Trials just outside of Kingston. It's a great event and this is the Nth time that we've had a booth there and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I will be setting up tomorrow morning about 8 am and I'm hoping that the weather will hold so that I can get all of my display in and under the tent before any of that wet stuff makes an appearance.

Tomorrow at 8 am local time is also the official start time of the Ravelympics (which corresponds with 8 pm Beijing time, the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies.) Now this is ironic as I very deliberately decided not to choose a project to try and complete before the Closing Ceremonies as one has enough stress in one's life without putting any more time constraints on my knitting time too. But as it turns out I will be starting a new project at about the same time as the rest of the knitting world anyway because I always start a new project at the Sheep Dog Trials. And strange as it may seem for me, I will be making the exact same sweater that I began last year sitting in the crafters tent at Grass Creek Park. (I wonder if that means that last year's sweater was like training for this event?)

This sweater, pictured at right, was a big favourite among our customers and was lots of fun to knit. But as with many exquisite patterns that we have made up as samples, this sweater sold a little too soon and I felt that it was time to have another in a different colour. So I am taking up my needles with my fellow knitters although I am unable to bring my television with me to the park and will miss most of the first 3 days of the Games - I will be watching in spirit. (I am a sucker for competition, whether I am involved in it or I'm just watching someone else fighting for their honour on a playing field of some sort. )

Hope to see you at the Sheep Dog Trials. Bring a chair and your knitting and we can show the rest of the visiting world what sheep are really all about -- producing wool for us! (never mind this clever dog stuff!) Meanwhile, I reserve the right to be considered or not as a participant in the "Ravelympics"; we'll see how much I get done on the weekend. I'll keep you posted.