Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Knitting Orchestra - Tomorrow Night

If knitting on the subway doesn't quite fill your knitting-as-performance-art void, check this out! I don't know if I'll be able to make it tomorrow night, but it sounds potentially awesome and certainly super fun!

from the Very Esteemed Callie Janoff via CraftZine:

Knitting Jam at the Chelsea Art Museum.

556 West 22ndStreet, New York, NY 10011

Laure Drogoul invites one and all to participate in an evening of musical knitting.
You are cordially invited to knit and become a part of a knitting orchestra. Knitters and non-knitters alike are invited to play/knit on Laure Drogoul's souped-up, amplified knitting instrument. The Apparatus for Orchestral Knitting amplifies the sound of the knitting, is mixed and played back live. All materials supplied.

Program presented by the
Chelsea Art Museum & Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center
This evenings events are free and open to the public.

Monday, August 25, 2008

North Fork 2008

I rode the North Fork Century yesterday. No hills, no thunderstorms, no bottled water, lots and lots of friendly people and pretty farms and wineries and wetlands and osprey nests and sweet, sweet flat and smooth roads. There were a few eensy rolling hills that were just big enough to be fun - push really hard to the bottom and you'll coast to the top! I took a wrong turn and wound up on the 66 mile route instead of the 100 (this is kind of a theme with me), but that was ok - I've barely been riding except for occasional commuting since the Harlem Valley ride, and I still felt pretty great at the finish. And I got to be on the first bus back, so I was home again before dark. Hopefully I'll be ready for Tour de Pink in October!

Here's a drawing of me trying to sleep on the bus on the way home. I had really weird dreams, but I forget what they were.Oh, and in the picture I'm wearing the old school wool jersey ex-boyfriend Scott gave me for my birthday. He had it embroidered to say my last name in block letters and "I knit squids" in cursive underneath. Coolest present ever.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Casting On in the Middle

I love knitting in the round - little tiny circles spiraling out into great big circles! Starting in the middle opens up a world of possibilities - pentagons, octagons, umpteen-a-gons, not to mention spheres and eggs and octopi and all manner of seamless toys. But how exactly do you get started?

Here are some great tutorials that other folks have done:

Emily Orcker's Circular Cast-On from Bagatell
(a crochet cast-on)

Fleegle's Blog - Simple Ring Beginning for Circular Shawls
(a really elegant ring made with one knitting needle)

And the line-art wizardry of TechKnitting(tm):
Casting on From the Middle - Disappearing Loop Method

And here's how I like to do it - you may notice it gives the same result as TechKnitting's method, but I go about it a little differently. You'll need two double-pointed needles and a tapestry needle.

1) Make a slip knot and secure it to one dpn, leaving a generous tail 6 or 7 inches long.

2) Hold a second dpn parallel to the first. Wrap the yarn under the bottom dpn, then over the top one, making a figure-eight.

3) Continue figure-eight-ing until the top needle has the desired number of stitches plus one extra.

4) Thread the tail through a tapestry needle. Holding the working yarn in place, carefully slip the bottom needle free from the stitches.

5) Drop the slip knot off the left side of the dpn and thread the tail through the empty loops from right to left using the tapestry needle.

6) Gently tug the slip knot to undo it.

7) Distribute the stitches over the desired number of dpns and begin working in the round. After you've worked five or six rounds, pull the tail snug. Reinforce it by threading it through the loops a couple times.

The result:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is That a Yeti in Your Mailbox?

So a couple weekends ago when I was working on the new website, I went to my mailbox to find this awesome yeti shadow puppet waiting for me! It was shipped from Owly Shadow Puppets (who sells on Etsy) with a note on the envelope that said "you are secretly admired."

It's totally adorable - if you pull the wire on the wooden handle the arms go up and down. Rawr!

Who are you, oh mysterious mailer of yetis? I still don't know. But thanks, whoever you are - I admire you right back.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Molting Yeti is Go!

Without further ado, I give you!

Hey everybody, here's my new website - it's a lot like my old website, but all grown up - prettier and more consistent and with a logo and a tagline and everything!

Oh, and it's called Molting Yeti. You know, 'cause all my creations are really made of hand-spun strands of Yeti fur that I wild-gather from the ultra-secret Yeti dens in the underpasses of deep Brooklyn. Yetis in Brooklyn? Aren't they abominable snowmen? Well, they got lost. We did have a coyote in Central Park that one time.

And that is why I never sleep.

Ok, maybe none of that stuff about the Yeti fur is true, but it's still way funner to say and easier to spell than

Both sites will be up at the same time for a while yet (at least until I figure out how write a redirection page that doesn't make my head explode), and this here blog is staying right where it is.

Thanks again to Tamara for the logo and design advice, to Maria Sputnik for the yeti drawing, and to everybody who's encouraged me! I'm really super excited and happy about this - eek! look out! there's globs of glee all over the road!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Louise Bourgeois!

I saw the Louise Bourgeois exhibit at the Gugg this weekend and loved, loved, loved it. I spent probably half the exhibition grinning from ear to ear. If you live near NYC, go! (It's pay-what-you will Friday nights, and it'll be up through September 28.)

Robert Mapplethorpe, Louise Bourgeois, 1982

I hadn't seen much of her work before seeing the show, but I knew this famous Mapplethorpe photo from my childhood - as a queer kid growing up in Cincinnati with black fingernails and a subscription to ArtNews, how could I not promptly start dreaming that a different, better world existed when such beautiful evidence arrived in my mailbox? I honestly think that this image is the first inkling I got that being sexual and being happy could and should go together. I still, even today, keep re-checking the picture, surprised at her mischievous, satisfied smile.

Louise Bourgeois, Blind Man's Bluff, 1984

The piece she's holding is less plainly representational and way more ambiguous when not tucked under Ms. B's devious arm. There's all kinds of gendered sex-parts-ish stuff going flippy-floppy in her work, which is of course super awesome. There are metaphors upon physical metaphors, and they all kind of miss in a way that draws you in. I lost track of how many of the helpful white placards under the titles referenced testicles, breasts, and sometimes knees in the same sentence.

Louise Bourgeois, Spiral Woman, 1984

And in her more recent works - "Cells" - She encloses the work with cages and guillotines or old doors stuck together, so you get that birdcage, reliquary for a private metaphor, Joseph Cornell kind of feeling except less goofy and way bigger and you're peering through keyholes or catching glimpses through slats for a zoetrope effect. Totally, totally juicy in a way you have to see in person.

If you go, make sure you don't miss Confrontation - it's in one of the little tangents off the Guggenheim's main spiral - an installation and video of a performance piece from 1978: people dressed up in blobby latex costumes having a fashion show with the audience squashed into little white boxy chairs. It's beautiful and hilarious. Don't be afraid to laugh.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blobfish, Blobfish Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink!

I asked my friend Tamara, who does design-ey things for a living, to make me a logo for my new web site. In return, she asked me to knit her a blobfish. Blobfish are globby, gross fish that live in the deep waters off of Australia and New Zealand, and they don't have any muscles - their gooey flesh is a little bit lighter than water, so they don't sink. They look like this:

(send your own blobfish e-card at

Here's the blobfish I made for her - I wanted it to be totally understuffed, so it's filled it with ping pong balls instead of fluff. And it's all in reverse stockinette stitch, 'cause sometimes the ugly side of knitting gives me the heebie jeebies. It'll also make a decent, though kinda fragile, bath toy, since the ping pong balls will make it float!

and here it is again in its new home on Tamara's bookshelf:


Thursday, August 7, 2008

From the vaults: Dopp

Hey y'all - I've been working like crazy for the last couple weeks on my kinda-secret new website project aka "Codename Linty Toast". I'll have lots of beans to spill about that soon.

Here's a project from the vaults - a toiletry bag ("dopp kit" if yer manly) I made out of a nylon advertising banner. With, of course, generous application of pink piping. Note my bungled-up corner? I'm still pretty happy with it as a first real sewing project - and with a zipper to boot!