It’s crochet, It’s still crochet…

So I have been recieving links about this video from family. It a segment in the LA Times about a bus being covered by fiber in Mexico by Knitta Please. Now, I know she does knitted pieces and I know she is all about breaking perceptions of knitting… something about knitting and grafffitti being a little less granmotherly… and I think the bus is awesome…


She’s crocheting… she’s crocheting the bus (think soilent green). In the video she has a crochet hook in her hand. Is it too much for her to say I am crocheting most of this bus? Or is there perhaps another word for general fiber activity goodness?

I feel like not explaining this to people will confuse the muggles… and it confuses me a bit to. I like to know technique and fiber content of FOs.



So… show notes will come up later.. but for the moment I am having technical difficulties and am going to spend my time trying to get the links working again so that this end up in the feed… so this post is going to be updated tonight with all sort of good stuff about the show including my two interviews and music and a little bit more about the passing of Lynn.

Added LATER.. much LATER:
On the show I interview Janice Kissinger, Director of Slater Mill in Rhode Island and Cindy, Owner of The Yarn and Fiber Company in NH. I would like to thank Jane from Porter Square Books for helping the guild (I messed up the website on the show)host The Yarn Harlot. I would also like to thank Franklin ans Stephanie for for speakinin Boston.

If you would like to learn more about my friend Lynn Votour and Gary Votour please visit her caring bridge site. Gary would appriciate any donations made in Lynn’s name to the Caring Bridge. The service they provide s crucial for the families of people in the hospital.

The music on the show comes from the Podshow Network and I played the Mega Bottle Ride by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros on todays show. (this song really chokes me up and make me happy and sad at the same time… weird)

Finally… thank you all for your suggestions for working through my feelings about friends lost. Sorry the show notes took so long. (also, the title is a little nod toward the Seasonal Affective Disorder, because I get down in the fall..)

PSA: Martha’s Vineayard Fiber Farm

Susan Gibbs of Martha’s Vineyard fiber farm is in need of your clicks. Amazingly, she is in the lead for a technology grant from Intel which is based on votes. You don’t have to register, all you have to do is click on the “I like it” button at this site.

I also ask that you post about this on your site as well if you can.

OK.. if you need another reason to vote, check out this awesome video about Susan and her Farm.

Send her away..

just a quick note…

Let me tell you what I have done on my first anniversry. I have sent my wife away for the next weekend. Yes, I am sending her away so I can record a couple of episodes and do some knitting.

Show topics I will work on include:

Local Knit Out Fun
Mens spring knitting retreat
Reviews of some books

so there.. haven’t forgoten you, I am not fading away, just working out my schedule and stuff..

A Night At The Theater

Last night I was invited to attend and blog about “Let me Down Easy” a dramatic piece by Anna Deavere Smith which was put together for the American Repertory Theatre (ART) in Cambridge. This was a great blogging event that was put together by Sooz. I believe that this was an attempt to reach a larger audience about the arts. I applaud ART’s efforts and thank everyone involved for an evening of theater.

I do not consider myself a theater expert. I have seen some plays and other theatrical pieces growing up. I tend to watch movies , t.v., and read books for entertainment ( I am currently reading Kavalier and Clay). The last theater I took in was Blue Man GroupĀ  and John Leguizamo’s Freak. So please do not take my review as someone who knows modern theater.

That all being said, I didn’t much care of the piece. It was difficult to follow, difficult to become attached to, and it felt very academic/high brow… somewhat forced at points… and this was just the first half. I ended up leaving after the first half because I didn’t feel that I was going to enjoy the second half of the show. I wasn’t laughing when others were and felt very out of place.

“Let Me Down Easy” is a collection stories based on interviews that Anna has done all over the world. She portrays her interviewees in the piece. The topic of the parts she portrayed in the first act were loosely connected by a theme of grace. It started off with a back and forth between many different characters that was remonicent to a Robin Williams performance from Aladdin. Each character gets about 15 seconds and then it changes to another. In time these transitions bewteen the different voces slowed, but I still had a hard time becoming attached to any of the characters in order to have empathy and interest in there story.

I didn’t get it. Both the details of humor and the larger point of the piece. I think that the humor was at the expense of the interviwee or based on some inside joke that I was not a part of. The main connective material of the piece was thin and somewhat confusing. I felt that it was reminiscent of a freshman term paper where the author is grasping at many sources to put together their topic in the process.

Anna’s performance started to blend for me. While she was masterful at switching accents and outfits, I felt that there was a specific annunciation that drifted between all the characters. This may have been using her articitcs liscence, but I felt that this use of over annunciation was used to overramatize all the characters. Some of these interviewees are probably not as dramatic and some may even be understated, but based on the performance I saw everyone has drama written into their dialogue.

On a brighter, less critial note… I thought that the set design was very exciting and the transitions were well put together. The music, which was composed specifically for this show, was well suited to this piece. My only complaint was about the fact that they played a voice singing amazing grace as we went into the intermission. This seemed aqard seeing as all the other musical pieces were done by a saxaphone. I would have thought that playing amazing grace on the saxophone would have made for a more haunting and pensive tranisiton into intermission.

So that is what I thought.

OK, next week… back to a regular bi-weekly show. Sunday I will have a great show and share my experience from the first guild meeting and the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat.

Road trip to Philly (Extended Fiber crawl?)

OK, so I am hitting the road and driving down to Philly for Podcamp Philly the weekend after next. I will be heading down on Friday morning and was wondering what kinda fiber crawl I could do on my way down to Philly. I know I want to visit Rosie’s and Loop in Philly, but are there other stores on the way down that are near the highway that I should check out? (I miss knitty d and the city, they would know)

Please let me know if there are tips/tricks to getting to these stores and if you would be interested in meeting up at the stores… Thanks for your help…

ADDED: Just found this knit map web page, seems like good info for philly??

From here to there

In hopes of promoting the fiber guild and my stash I went on a pretty fantastic ride on Saturday. It started at Athan’s in Allston. There is a great group of ladies who meet up there for fantastic food, conversation, and knitting. I got a lot of feedback about what would make for a good and bad guild, kinda rough for a guild that has yet to start, but good ideas non-the less. One idea that came out from this meeting was a shop hop for knitting store in the Boston area, perhaps this will happen in February…

From Athan’s I went on a southern Boston Metro area fiber crawl, visiting many yarn stores around Boston, looping to the south. Because I was on a schedule I did not have too much time to visit I will save a lot of description for future episodes of the show when I return to some of these places, but here is a quick wrap up:

  • A Good Yarn in Brookline: I was happy to be greeted by someone who knows me and was excited about the Guild.
  • Stitch House Dorchester: I dropped off some fliers (totally flustered by the time I got there, read on for more details).
  • Snow Goose in Milton:(new to me) Wow… this store was hidden in an isle of a fancy supermarket (not exactly… but I would love to pick up some yarn between the tofu and milk isles).
  • Sheep Street in Canton:(new to me) I picked up a frog notion case, couldn’t help it (I know the link is to the clover store, but please goto your LYS… oh yeah, don’t tell my pumpkin I bought the case).
  • Fancie Purls in Norwood:(new to me) The owner of this shop is so sweet and supportive of the other local yarn shops (rock on!).
  • SheepSkate in Dedham:(new to everyone) Currently the owner is doing a soft opening and learning a lot… Can’t wait to see the grand opening
  • Black Sheep Knitting in Needham:(new to me) The Friendly staff put up with me at closing time, let me ramble… I think I should have brought more breath mints for my ride
  • Putting on the Knits in Newton:(new to me) There are some amazingly detailed pieces in this store
  • Spark Crafts in Cambridge: The store is going through some changes with the absence of Renee, but a haven for beautiful yarn.
  • Mind’s Eye Yarns in cambridge:Home Base (why lucy puts up with me, I can not say?)

Here is a Google map with my original route. Due to time limitations, I was not able to make it to all the shops on my route.

This trip was a breaking point for me. While I was happy to visit all the stores and fiber… I realized something very important. I cannot rely on using Google maps alone to get to places. I cannot use directions alone when I am on such a diverse trip visiting so many places I have not been before. While it is possible to spend a day planning this kinda trip, I would rather not.

The breaking point happened early on in the trip. I was crossing from Brookline to Dorchester, which is a bit tricky for me, and I ended up in Roxbury center driving down what I think was going to be a parade route and I knew that I was not in the right place. For those non-locals, it’s like going from New York to DC and ending up in downtown Philly, you just know something went wrong.

After I found my way to Mass Ave, I went directly to the Best Buy and bought myself the cheapest ($150) GPS unit they had, The Magellan 3200. This is one of the smaller screen versions, but it worked great right out of the box. High scores on usability, it even asked if you wanted to shut it off when you unplugged the power from the car. It got me to all the places I had left to go with flying colors and saved me a lot of time with getting from place to place on the rest of my trip. The only draw back was that it had pretty boring computer software and did not announce street names, you have to pay more for street names in the Magellan line (which is typical).

So today I went out, returned the Magellan and got me a Mio Moov 200. For the same price as the Magellan, I could now hear street names in the direction. But, sadly… it lacks a lot of the ease of use I had in the Magellan. I found the buttons unclear and sometimes totally redundant. I could not set trip options like “toll roads” for each trip and I had to look up how to add favorites, LYSs of course, and the software that came with it didn’t allow me to edit my favorites or points of interest. So… I am going to return this one as well.

I am hoping that in the next week I will get to buy the last of the cheap GPS ($150 is the best price for anything good right now). I plan on buying a TomTom One 3d Edition. It does not have street names, but I hope that the interface is as good as the Magellan and the ability to share my favorites and places of interest with the rest of the TomTom users will mean that I help others in locating fiber places along the route. Oh yeah, they also give you regular updates to your maps as well as let you manage your favorites and points of interest from their computer software. If it is still to confusing to work, I will go back to the Magellan.

The reason I am sharing this with you is two fold

  1. There is so little good usability information out there about GPS units. Since these are now so much cheaper, I think that there should be more information out there about what real differences are between them. BTW, Text to speech is the name of the function you need for street names to be announced on your GPS units.
  2. Fiber stores and fiber farms are everywhere, get out there with a GPS in hand and start checking them out, they are so much closer than you think.

The votes are in

In case you didn’t know:

I am starting a fiber guild in Boston. It’s going to be a Friday night group where we can all go for drinks afterward. We have set up two meetings and on one special event planned for 2008. We are in the process of taking of the Boston Knit Out organization. We plan to have meetings, continue the Boston Knit Out as a part of the World Wide Knit in Public, and we have a dream of a fiber un-conference (more to come on this later).

Last night I was voted in as Boston Knit Out president. This means that my group is going to be a bona fide charity. Which means we need to keep track of everything that happens with the bank account and stuff.

So… This has been my summer project and every time I think I will have free time to get going on the podcast, somehow a guild task keeps rearing it’s head… But soon, the Guild will launch and I will have time again. Friday we will launch the website and send out some press release information to the media.

After the luanch, on Sunday… I will sit down and put together the next episode. This is going to be the return… I swear… and because this show happens after the launch I can tell you all about the guild and explain the strange images I have been posting (the one above is of President Taft and company).

Talk to you soon… really… really…