11 February 2013

New York

So, I have to be honest. Even after five years here, New York doesn't really feel like home. I think part of it is that it's difficult for me to dive into that go-getting pace with young children to care for. And not working outside the home doesn't help. I tend to homebody-ness so that I can be available when needed, filling my time with knitting and designing, which I live, as well as all the home making stuff that I like to have done but don't, you know, enjoy doing.

All this means that I don't get out to enjoy /experience the city enough to really feel comfortable. Or a part of. Today I had to go down to the Court House to postpone jury duty, since it became clear that I couldn't do it and take care of all the people who needed my care. Oftentimes, Nick can help out, but his teaching schedule this year and duties as chair preclude him from doing so thus time. Luckily, the jury room lady quickly postponed me to June.

But what really inspired this post was the courthouse itself (I didn't take any photographs in there because I didn't want to spend time explaining myself to security - maybe when i go for jury duty) and the surrounding buildings. The ones that stand out were all built about 100 years ago, and they are lovely and beautifully decorated. There is even an old firehouse nearby that looks like something out of a fairy tale.

Noticing the details really inspired a new fondness for New York. There is charm here and lovely little "secret" spots. Not just glass and steel exoskeletons and, at the moment, dirty snow and giant slush puddles.

And then there are the subway station mosaics. Maybe I'll dive into color work next.

06 February 2013

Matryoshkas for Maggie

Maggie's Matryoshkas
Maggie's Matryoshkas
Dear friends of ours had a wee babe on December 24th, but with our travels and their new home, we only got to meet Miss Maggie a couple of weeks ago. However, that gave me time to knit up a set of Matryoshka Japonais for her. Despite this undignified picture, Maggie seemed to like her dollies. I told her that she should play with them as much as she wants, and if they get too mushed up (Malabrigo Merino Worsted has a tendency to pill when loved excessively), I will happily make her another set. Because knitters love nothing more than knowing their knitting is loved/used. If you would like to make your own set, click on the button below. [Or there is one set available on Etsy, but if you're reading this, you're probably a knitter :) ]

05 February 2013


Sometimes we get stuck, creatively, and that's where I am at the moment. This interview with Jack White is interesting. He speaks to some of my thoughts on creativity that I've mentioned here before. Namely, constraints and structure, deadlines and a limited palette, rules, if you will, go a long way towards inspiring creativity. Think: "What are you rebelling against?" "What have you got?" Friction generates the spark.

I'm also wallowing in the end of an era by re-watching 30 Rock. If you're my facebook friend, you may have seen my mourning-30-Rock posts there yesterday. I'm still on season one, and there is so much hilarity, as well as incisive observations about gender and race. Plus, you have to love a show that mentions knitting in the pilot (even if it is a little disparaging):

Jack Donaghy: "New York, Third Wave feminist, college educated, single and pretending to be happy about it, over-scheduled, under-sexed, you buy any magazine that says "healthy body image" on the cover, and every two years you take up knitting for ... (pop) ... a week."
Pete Hornberger: "That is dead on! ... That knitting thing is uncanny. How do you do that?" -30 Rock, S1, Ep1

Liz, Jack, Pete, Jenna, Tracy, et. al., I'll miss you guys. But not for a while yet, since I have three more DVD sets to go, and season seven is still on OnDemand. Hoping for more inspiration and grateful for the entertainment (it's great swatching/knitting TV for me).