Cutting loose

Published on Monday January 30th, 2006

It’s official: I am unemployed. Yep, Friday was my last day of work. I have mixed feelings about this. I will deeply miss my wonderful mentor and the camaraderie of my fellow assistants at Penguin, and I will miss the satisfying and challenging process of making children’s books. Last week I was mopey and stressed, and Friday was the worst of all. But then my pal and coworker Sarah gave me this:

She knit me a penguin! This cheered me up and really moved me. Sarah and I picked up the sticks about the same time, and Sarah quickly became the most prolific hat-knitter I knew. All last winter she cranked out hats and scarves like she was clothing an army. But Sarah doesn’t like to knit from patterns, so it means even more to me that she followed the Knitty instructions for this adorable little fellow, and tackled such advanced techniques as short rows and complicated color changes. I really love him.

The above photo also provides a clue to the other major pick-me-up of the weekend: the first Spiders yarn-dying party at Marie’s house. It was epic, folks. I don’t even know how many people were there, but it was at least fifteen. We took turns soaking and dying our yarn, and although the party began at 1pm, it was 9:45 before my bout with the dye bottles wound up the show. Since it was already so late, I took my yarn home and steamed and rinsed it yesterday. Sitting overnight really helped it soak up the dye; the water ran clear immediately. Here it is in the rinse pot:

(Laudamus te, O Olympus E500!) And here it is today, almost dry:

I can’t wait to wind it up and see how it will look. The pumpkin spice, teal, and chartreuse dyes took beautifully. Although I really saturated the deep violet and denim segments, they came out a little paler than I would have expected. And the brown I used to transition the skein on the left from pumpkin into denim and teal seemed nearly black coming out of the bottle, but ended up as a color I’ll name “dusty mouse”. Next time I’ll know to be very liberal indeed with the blues and browns. But I’m delighted with the results, and I’m eager to experiment with dyes in the future. I’m especially interested in plant-based dyes.

And for the final garnish on my new life as a Lady of Leisure, I visited a new yarn store in my neighborhood – Knitty City! This cute place on West 79th just opened a couple of weeks ago, and I’d begun to hear rumors of its existence. Naturally, I had to investigate post haste. It’s simply laid out, well lighted, and inviting. They’re still bringing in stock, but they’re specializing in the new line of Lily Chin yarns (which I hope Knitter’s Review will take a look at soon), and they have a good quantity of staples like Aurora 8, Cascade 220, and Plymouth basics, as well as a strong selection of Bouton d’Or yarns I haven’t seen elsewhere, and attractively priced lines of Frog Tree alpaca and Classic Elite Bazik wool. In fact, prices across the board are very competitive for New York. And they have a tempting array of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn… yum. I snatched up some Bouton d’Or Aida in two lively turquoise hues. I’d never seen this yarn before, and I’m happy to report it’s delightful – two plies of different intense colors, very springy, and I-can’t-believe-it’s-100%-wool soft. I knit up a quick pair of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts wrist warmers for a friend’s birthday, and I went back for more of this yarn right away. Hooray for another LYS!

10 Comments to “Cutting loose”

  1. Sandra Comment Says:

    oh my golly, that is some perty yarn! you must post pics of swatches ASAP.

    Hooray for another LYS indeed. Hmm, maybe I’ll check it out sometime this weekend. Thanks for the mini-review of the place. Much appreciated. 🙂

  2. Karma Comment Says:

    Good luck in this new chapter of your life! Change is scary, but can be good, too…. 🙂

  3. Em Comment Says:

    Wow… I am very excited to hear about what’s next for you!

    And I know a little something else Knitty City will be bringing in: sock yarn, of the rockin’ variety. Whee!

  4. Lisa Comment Says:

    I miss you already here at Penguin!!

    I may have to venture uptown to check out Knitty City – it sounds fabulous!

  5. colleen Comment Says:

    Oooh, you’re so brave! Good luck!

  6. Katie Comment Says:

    Congrats on your freedom from work! More time to KNIT! Thanks for the heads up on Knitty City ~ I’ll have to take a peek. Your yarn turned out very lovely.

  7. Jennifer Comment Says:

    Hi–I’ve read your blog for a couple of months now. Were you at the Penguin on Hudson street? I work at Saatchi & Saatchi. Good luck as you move forward! Jen

  8. Iraida Comment Says:

    Ooh a new yarn store! Close to yarnco isn’t it? I can’t wait to see the yarn all wound up 🙂

  9. Amy Lu Comment Says:

    What a sweet penguin. Welcome to the Ladies of Leisure Club! (Here’s your honorary box of bon bons.)

    Seriously, good luck in your endeavors! I look forward to seeing what your free time produces (maybe a new designer for Interweave Knits?) At least some more knitting!

    Take care!

  10. celia Comment Says:

    I’m new to your blog, but love the pig war socks on the other post and the penguin on this post. Was the penguin based on a pattern? I’d love to make one for a friend of mine, who’s expecting.

    Good luck to you!

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