Things handmade. About making things.
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Friday, March 30, 2012

One Knitter's Pleasure is Another Knitter's Poison

A call for all your cast-off bits of Noro Kureyon...
Donate or trade or I may even buy it off of you.
Spring Cleaning!
And again in spite of my best intentions, blogging about ANYTHING fell by the wayside this past year. But I think I have a thought of a way out of my slump...A challenge that I MUST be accountable for!!!

In the course of a recent tidy-up in my multiple yarn stashes (sigh), I spent some time going through a bag of bits. I am one of those people who keeps all the end bits of projects, all the half skeins, the wee balls, pretty well anything. I even keep the trimmed ends and use them to stuff cat toys. I keep bits in case a repair needs to happen or because I just like the yarn or the colour so much. If I gave the project away (often the case) those bits help me remember the feel of the work. And may remind me why I never want to work with that yarn ever again. Sometimes there are enough bits of one sort or another to make something coherent and even quite nice. In my case, this usually means a scarf or wrist warmers. But I have been thinking big lately. As I was dredging around for my Noro Kureyon bits to see how much I had accumulated, I had a thought. You know, one of those lightbulbs...

Now - I love Kureyon. I will happily put up with the occasional knot. I enjoy the texture and un-even-ness and I love to let its colourways unfold. So for me Kureyon is pure pleasure. But I have been to many a knit night or sat around with friends knitting who despair of the appearance of brown or grey or peach or pink or the wrong blue in their Kureyon and they break the yarn and re-attach where it pleases them. This is a fine strategy. But I want those bits of Kureyon THAT YOU DON'T LIKE.
There are people who embark on a Kureyon project and feel the strong need to make the stripes match and therefore end up with lots of partial balls. I would happily take those end bits off your hands if you've had enough of them.

And then there are also a whole group of people who just don't like Kureyon period. They find it scratchy or hard to work with. If you are in that camp and have some distressed balls and bits of Kureyon around that you have tried to love but the relationship just didn't work out, you can send them to me. I will love them.

How? What? Why??

How? If you have just a few bits of Kureyon and don't mind popping them into the mail
Post to:
Brenna MacCrimmon
62 Riverview Gardens
Toronto ON M6S 4E5
Tip: get them as flat as possible to keep the postage down.
and do please include your email or other contact.

If you have just too much to post affordably or if you would like to trade---
Let me know at lostkoma at hotmail dot com
I will be getting together a list of yarn that has been in my stash for too long and there may be something that suits you and your knitting style. That list will be ready shortly after April 21st (can you tell I have a deadline looming?).

I intend to be at the Toronto's Downtown Knit Collective Frolic at the end of April 2012, so that could be a great exchange opportunity. We can set up a time and place. After the 21st of April, I will be more free to drop into Toronto area yarn shops (or cafes or bars) so a meet up can be arranged around a trip to your 'local'.

I know Kureyon while not wildly expensive is also not what you'd call a budget yarn. I know that you may have spent a fair bit on it. I can't afford to buy it from you at retail prices but again if you have quite a bit you wish to unload and can't afford to donate it outright we can possibly work out a deal. email lostkoma at hotmail dot comWhat am I going to do with all this? Make something. Possibly quite large. It will all depend on how much yarn I am able to gather. I estimate that I am going to need about 2kgs to start. The palette will be determined by what people give me. You, in other words, will shape this. I will keep a record of all yarn contributors and once underway, I will let you know. Maybe a nice friendly LYS will let me display the finished 'objet' publicly!

Why? I am know I am a Noro-holic and I do love working with Kureyon so there is a certain amount of gratification for me in just that. But I am fascinated with what one person likes and what another doesn't - the pleasure and poison aspect. And I really just want to see WHAT happens when I get all the ''poisons'' together and see what sort of ''pleasure'' I can create with them.

Your contributions greatly appreciated!!

Photo Notes:
Only the bulbs (or eyes as I like to call them) in the blue and greene piece above are Kureyon . It was about 8 feet long and 20 inches wide...All the other knit bits are 100% Kureyon. The squares at the very top are all made from at least 2 different Kureyon colourways each.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

RİP - Ruhi

Oh how to say...
Anyone who has every had to put down a pet knows that it is awful. No way around it.
Ruhi was a rescued Siamese - a lilac point. A handsome dude who liked to bite knitting needles, gnaw on yarn, attack ukulele strings and claw up cardboard. He enjoyed his sun spots and could never get enough chin scratches. He was the world's messiest cat eater and would frequently ''treat'' us to a postprandial aria.
He was getting old. We never knew just how old but he had been on thyroid meds for 3 1/2 years and was suffering from kidney trouble and it was just getting so hard. For everyone.

I really miss the little guy and I think LuLu does, too.

My vet was wonderful - ever so kind - and she ushered him to the other side of the cat door in the gentlest way possible. And I am so lucky to have had such a great circle of friends who helped me care for him for the past few years.

Hey little guy - I hope where ever you are there is plenty of roast beef and loads of lap time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stripes and Squiggles - part 1 Karelia

I am not sure when stripes started to get a hold of me but I realized that I LOVE stripes.
My long suffering friend Linda Turu took me to an Estonian Cultural Bash - gosh when was that?
Ages ago - but the stripe-iness from that event lives on in my mind. Hence the next couple of posts.

Here are some inspirational stripes...
These are cuffs from the Ethnographic Museum in Helsinki in 2008. The exhibit was about Karelian culture and history. There were a couple of wonderful sweaters. Well, I'll bet if you are reading this, you'll want to see those, too. I can make that happen. But first these. Wrist warmers are really important in northern climates but if I remember correctly, there were a number of textiles in this exhibit that were made with such care with the yarn. Certain colours especially were hard to get and hardly a centimeter would go to waste.
I am trying to remember the story about the woven pieces - somehow they were scraps that were left behind. The history of Karelia is a sad one, and during the Soviet era many people were forced to migrate. Over all this was a touching exhibit and had me thinking hard about how politics and power struggles mess up people's lives. But also how people keep going and persevere with resourcefulness...

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 - the year that got away

I knit, I saw, I took pictures but...
I had a computer death (by rain) and went back to old technology.
I traveled frequently and lived out of bags and suitcases.
And here it is.
Another year. Whatever that means.
I have more moth (mis) adventures - but I am winning.
I have more yarn.
I keep stash busting and enhancing. Travel means finding yarn shops.
I still can't get enough Noro, or short rows, or colours.
I have 4 ukuleles. I am stopping at 4. Travel means finding ukuleles.
I thought about knitting a uke case but decided better of it. Sure, one could - but WHY?

Here's to finishing things we start. To learning what we have and how to use it. To keeping an open mind about life, the universe and everything. Here's to bicycles and wool, to friends and cats, to music and art and good books.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Lynn, Lucy & Ataturk

If my friend Lynn had survived her bout with cancer she would have been 46 today.
And it's funny, because in Turkey it marks a very sombre event, the passing of the modern republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Pasa Ataturk.

Lynn was staying at my apartment in Istanbul some years ago. It was a typical morning and Lynn being the sort of person that she was, wasn't making a fuss about her birthday and was happily reading the Guardian and drinking tea. Suddenly we heard several great blasts from the ferry boats and ships that ply the Bosforus, echoing from shore to shore and lasting about a minute. It shook the tea glasses! The ships were signalling 9:05 am, the time of the leader's passing. We chuckled at the irony of it.

Lynn was an amazing person, one of the smartest and kindest people I have had the privilege of knowing. Even as she grew more and more ill, she was sharp and alert. Some years ago, she had passed onto me a pair of wonderful Ojibwa slippers and she told me at the time the name of the person who made them. Lynn herself had had these slippers for a number of years. I, of course, didn't write it down, and soon forgot. When I was visiting her in hospice I asked her if she remembered them. "Oh yeah," she said, "Why?"
"Well do you remember who made them?"
"Lucy Knot. You can't forget a name like Lucy Knot. I always remember it because you must have had to tie a lot of knots to make those slippers"
That's how I remember it now, too.

Here's to you, Red! Wherever you are!
Lynn Macfie
November 10, 1962 - September 27, 2007

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

me and my chapeaux - 1

Hey - this post got caught in the "drafts". Here it is February, with still a good six weeks of cold weather ahead, so maybe this idea from November will still be of use to someone. Here goes....

The wind blows chilly, the leaves are swirling in the gutter...
Hat making season is upon me as I'm sure it is upon those of you who also like making & wearing hats. And while I do try to vary my repertoire from time to time - I find I go back to my tried and true short row hats because they are fun, easy, look good on a lot of people and it seems that no two are ever exactly alike. Also, for me, they fall into the happily mindless category. Easy to pick up, minimal counting, minimal finishing, loads of instant gratification. Not to mention the stash busting potential and, after some incidents of weakness involving yarn stores on foreign shores the past few months, I do have a lot of that to do!!!

So how do you start?
Care to roll back a bit and read through the entry "when does a hat become a tea cozy" ?
The basic idea and beginning is really the same.
You need to have an decent idea of your gauge, an idea of the measurement of the head you are making it for, and some idea of the basic properties of the yarn you are using.

I am going to use my head and some Kureyon for this because I have both of them. Well my head does look like it is attached to my shoulders and I made coffee this morning, so something is working. I do want this hat to fit under my bike helmet, and Kureyon is a decent weight for that.
Slightly heavier weights work beautifully and knit up quickly but it can get tight under the hood there, so I am going to use Kureyon. Also I have given all my hats away!

These three photos show the same hat worn by two different people, my brother and his girlfriend. You can see that the same hat, looks different, the brim stretches and the effect is altered.
If you are making for a larger head, in addition to making it a little wider, you also may or may not want to add a few extra rows when you get to the brim. Ultimately it depends on who you are making the hat for, and what they want. Make the first one for yourself - I need one too so let's get started....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mindless Pleasantries

You know when every thing around you is going too fast?
Too much? Too many deadlines?
Been like that a lot lately for me. And lots of traveling.
So for the most part my knitting has reflected that. Or rather been an attempt to balance the hectic with the simple. Soothing, easy and satisfying.
A Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl from the directions by Sarah Bradley - so I don't have to think!
A bias scarf in recycled sari silk and some straw coloured rayon. Just cast on and go! (Modeled by the recipient, Emily)

Oh, I managed to finally finish the second Debbie Bliss classic cardigan for my wee niece....

and I did start a "Mitten of Insanity" which the cool and wet weather that is settling in is sure to encourage me to finish. But earlier this evening, when I had a moment, I picked up more colourful, soothing yarn and cast on for another bias scarf.

Mindless, pleasant.
There are enough challenges in the real world for the moment.