Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Manly Art of Knitting

A couple of years ago I was puttering through the craft section of the library and I came across an amazing book called the Manly Art of Knitting. It's a paperback pamphlet-style book. The cover shot looks like the Marlboro man on a horse knitting. The back flap reads "Only a man would knit a hammock with shovel handles for needles and manila rope for yarn."

Needless to say I was taken.

Despite the kitch value, the book was incredibly well-written and concise. It contains instructions on how to do the basics. The close-up photograhs show what the stitches should look like. The diagrams show how the yarn is supposed to wrap around the needles. I remember wishing I had such great, clear instructions when I began knitting.

Although it is a short book (only 64 pages), it contains a number of patterns that are perfectly balanced in the kitch to utility factor. These include a dog bed with different sizes for a small, medium and large dog, a ribbed cap, a horse blanket knit with garden hose in the round and of course a hammock knit with shovel handles.

After bringing the book home, I showed it to my husband who is a book publisher. I think my enthusiam rubbed off on him. We went on-line to purchase a copy and discovered it was out of print. Ok here's where my wheels started turning. I suggested that Gingko press re-print the book. David was a bit sceptical, but he brought the book in to show around the office. After discovering that copies were selling for over $100 I think he was sold.

Since that time I managed to secure my own copy and have written a number of letters to the author to see if he would re-publish. Unfortunately, I have had no response. I'm not sure I even have the right address. Well today while trying to get a picture of the book I came across contact info for a woman who says she published it. Well I just e-mailed her. I am so excited. Everyone cross your fingers and hope that we can get this gem back in print.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dog or Bear

So after trying to handsell to shops I was told that I should make more things for men. Additionally the color brown was suggested. So I made this hat (obviously not finished yet). I can't decide whether to make it a dog hat or a bear hat. For the dog, I would have to add some floppy ears. It kind of already looks like a bear. Well we'll see.

I did unwillingly post this scarf on Etsy. It was cold today so I wore it to the office and I kind of fell in love with it. I know I need to sell but sometimes it's hard to let the objects go.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Patterns for Textiles

I wanted to share a cool resource for patterns. First a caveat (yes I am an attorney). This book is published by my husband who is the editor at Gingko Press. So this is shameless promotion for him. Ok onto the meat. This book is a great resource for patterns. Basically, it is a compilation of 483 pattern images. It costs $24.95. It comes with a cd which contains all of the patterns for download royalty free. The images are eps scaleable vector files (so says my husband). For those of us that do not speak vector, this means you can open them in photoshop and choose what size etc. you would like them to be and save them as a jpeg.

I used one of them as the background for the title of this blog. I found them inspirational, but since my fiber work doesn't run through the computer, I've been using them more as background for posts etc. If any of you do screenprinting though, they could be used for that as well. I've posted a couple images from the book of patterns I like.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What tools do I use

Ok so I was forced to organize my (our) office when my husband couldn't find a place to sit down. To that end I recycled an old shoe holder for my small gadgets. After filling it up I had to chuckle. What a bizarre collection of things I use. I'm not sure someone would know what I do by what's in there.

See if you can identify what these things are.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Too many tomatoes here's what to do

I may just be drowning in tomatoes, but it may be the best way to go. Today alone I picked these beauties from my garden. I am also tending my friend's garden for a week or so the harvest is doubled. For all of you who want to do something with all your bounty and be able to taste a summer tomato in the middle of winter I am including instructions on how to sun (well actually oven) dry your harvest.

This recipe can be used for any size tomato.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (or your lowest setting)
Clean and wash tomatoes.
Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze out any juice and seeds
Add olive oil to tomatoes and mix to thoroughly coat.
Lay tomatoes skin side down on baking sheets
sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper and any other spice you like. (I use fresh basil)
Place in oven

Let the tomatoes cook for at least 5 hours. Read a book, knit a hat watch a movie.

When they are done they will have shrunk but should still have a bit of moisture in them. At this point you can stick them in zip loc bags and freeze.

And here's what to do with these lovelies. Easiest pasta sauce.

Chop 1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic
Add olive oil to sauce pan and heat over low heat.
Add chopped onion and cook slowly until translucent.
Add garlic cook until fragrant.

Add a bunch of sundried tomatoes and increase heat.
Add 1/4 cup basalmic vinegar
Add 1 tbsp basil
add 2 tsp oregano
add 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan
add salt and pepper to taste

Cook until tomatoes are starting to fall apart

Put mixture in blender (be very careful if it's hot the top will want to fly off) Blend et voila.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hudson Valley Wool Delivery

Ok Welcome to the world of blogs. Who ever thought I'd be blogging. My husband still has to remind me that there are preset numbers in my cell phone.

Well I finally have my etsy shop up and running. I'm trying to add a new item every day.

And most exciting my wool shipment arived today. I still had to run to Gingko to drop off a letter but I was just salivating to start playing.

Since I have only knit but not felted this wool I started on the dreaded swatches. They came out ...unexpectedly. I thought they would be thicker. They almost look like mohair. You can actually see through them after 2 full cycles in the washing machine. I realize some of my standard patterns for Etsy will not work with this. Oh Well, I've learned that necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes the biggest snafu turns out to be the coolest thing you ever made.