Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year! (and playing with reversible cables)

We have two of these wonderful Mexican boxes. Have no idea what their purpose is. We found the one below in a craft shop on Deer Isle, Maine and the one above at a Goodwill store. The people are playing musical instruments and everyone is having a good time. Seems appropriate for New Year's Eve.
I love reversible cables! They are perfect for scarves. The swatches below are all based on k2p2 ribbing. The pattern below is (k2p2 2x, k1p1) 3x, k2p2 2x. The idea is that the cable itself is k2p2 2x, so you can play with it however you like. I made two scarves for friends using a k2p2 rib as an edging and also in between the cables (instead of no edging and a k1p1 between the cables as it is below).
Below is a swatch with 4 k2p2 2x cables with nothing in between them.
I liked the "nothing in between", and the scarf below is five cables with no ribbing in between.
This sideways photo shows the squishiness, or thickness, of this pattern.
Best wishes for the New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

winter walk

This is a stressful time of year. The cure is to throw on your down jacket, pull on your big winter boots, wrap yourself up in your hand knit scarf, hat and mittens and go for a walk. Inspired by blogger dovegreyreader (books and knitting), who posts lovely photos of the English countryside around her home, I took my camera on a recent walk around the block.
It is, as you can see, winter here in Maine.

I love these old Maine farmhouses.
Dusk is the best time of day for a walk.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Page Farm and Home Museum Holiday Fair

We were a vendor yesterday at this delightful Holiday Fair at the University of Maine's Page Farm and Home Museum. Vendors were set up in the Museum, a huge 19th century barn filled with charming household and farming implements from the 18th and 19th centuries. The vendor next to me was selling these socks, which I snatched up. Yes, I should be making them myself, but...
I also couldn't resist these wonderful mittens made from Icelandic homespun, the sale of which benefited women in Appalachia. The lady who made them told me that making mittens to sell at this fair had freed her to just make what she wanted. Who could resist mittens knitted for the pure pleasure of it?
This is a display from the Museum.
The other side of the room above.
Gorgeous spinning wheel.
Kitchen displays.
There were also vendors selling locally made cheese.
I couldn't resist this delicious cheese from Olde Oak Farm. All their cheeses are wonderful but the Camembert is amazing.
My family are big fans of Daily Bread. The bread is scrumptious and it is a family owned and run (the parents, and I believe five children under the age of 18) business. I also bought a big jar of maple syrup. My husband loves to make pancakes or waffles on the weekend, and we smother them with maple syrup. Delicious and good for you! Of course, local is best.
We have been having a very warm and mild fall. Until last night.
Above is our side yard, below the view from my study window.
Lastly, thank you for your great response to our 2 for 1 sale! It continues through December.
Happy holidays from all of us at Knitting Out Loud!
- Kathy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


a perfect autumn day

It's the time of year when we in the US reflect on things that we are grateful for. Obviously all of us here at KOL are grateful for our wonderful authors and the stories they tell, but we thought we should list a few more personal things as well:

Katherine Jane:
1. My family: I'm grateful that they're all healthy and doing well at the moment. In particular, my two sisters this year hit real milestones, turning 13 and 21 respectively. It's wonderful seeing them grow into such beautiful young women.
2. America: I got my US citizenship in September after living here for 26 years, and it feels wonderful to officially be an American at last. I feel proud that I now get to identify with the parts of this country that I treasure, and honored that I can now have an influence on the things that I would like to see change.
3. The Internet: that sounds silly after two such meaningful things, but I am truly grateful to be living in this time period where we have such a useful tool at our disposal. Whether it's allowing us to instantaneously look up the name of some obscure actor to settle a bet, or keeping me and my best friend connected while she's living in a small town in Mexico, or allowing me to work for KOL even though I live nearly 600 miles away from our home base--the Internet has impacted and changed our world, and I am grateful to be here to witness its development.

This is a difficult year for people because of the recession. But many of us are also coping with health problems, child worries, actual or potential job loss, and much more. I am deeply grateful for the ability we all have to persevere, for the family and friends who help us, and for the joy and humor and love without which none of us could exist.

We wish all of you, dear readers, the best of Thanksgivings!


Katherine Jane Arathoon lives in New York City and occasionally guest blogs for Knitting Out Loud. She also blogs at Between Ewe And Me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lion Brand Store: NYC

From Katherine Jane:

When I first moved to NY I had a hard time finding yarn stores I liked (Portland's Yarn Garden spoiled me, I think). However, I've recently found a friend who was excited about exploring sewing and knitting options, and together we've been venturing out to the garment district and beyond. In that spirit, we ventured out one afternoon to find the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. I was very pleasantly surprised by what we found there. Most strikingly, they have a real live person sitting in the front of the window, knitting:

I also love the knitted door handle covers (click here for the full picture if you can't see it). But seriously, doesn't that look like the greatest job ever? Getting paid to sit and knit and look charming--sign me up! The woman in that picture, Tracey, also teaches classes at the Studio, and says that they all take turns sitting up in the window.

I've knit with Lion Brand before (they've formed the basis of many an afghan!) but hadn't realized what a wide variety of yarns they have--everything from the standard DK you find at Michael's, to soft cashmere and fingerweight varieties.

Another thing I loved inside was the Sampling Wall:

What a great idea, I wish more people would do this.

After a happy while poking around the store I ended up buying a skein of fingerweight self-striping yarn to make a pair of wrist warmers for my sister's birthday, which was exactly what I came for. Success!

-Katherine Jane


Katherine Jane Arathoon lives in New York City and occasionally guest blogs for Knitting Out Loud. She also blogs at Between Ewe And Me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Living in Maine

This is my daughter who is applying to art colleges for next year. We drove to Boston on Friday for a tour of Massachusetts College of Art, and yesterday we went to the Boston International Fine Art Show, in which my husband, a painter, has some paintings.
It was pouring rain, and I know the photo above is overexposed, but I was wearing those boots, and those jeans, and a Norwegian patterned sweater. Now, I lived in Boston for many years before moving to Maine, and when I moved my wardrobe contained things like high heeled shoes and silk suits. But high heels are not practical where I live in Maine (especially during mud season) and I have gradually slipped into wearing jeans pretty much all the time. So I stood out at this art show, and several people actually commented on my sweater and boots. Was it LL Bean? No, it was Eddie Bauer. And: nice boots! I'm from Maine, I responded. It reminded me of being at Boston's Logan airport a few years ago. My husband and I were coming home from a trip to Oregon, and racing to catch our flight to Bangor. Suddenly I saw a small group of people wearing flannel shirts and down parkas. "There's the gate," I said, and we rushed over.
And this photo has nothing to do with the above story, but I thought it went nicely with the photo of my daughter. These are figs which a friend brought me some time ago. They were stunningly beautiful and I love figs. I grew up in California eating fresh figs, apricots, artichokes and almonds (my grandmother had an apricot and an almond tree in her front yard). I don't think you can buy an apricot worth eating outside of California. Last year my husband bought me a small fig tree. I am hoping it will bear fruit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Good Day For Knitting!

From Katherine Jane:

Today has been a day filled with little knitting moments that make me smile. First, an email from my library:

Dear Katherine:
Thanks so much your suggestions. In response to your email and other requests for works by Elizabeth Zimmerman I am ordering a number of her titles for the Brooklyn Public Library including "Knitting WithoutTears"; "The Opinionated Knitter"; and "Knitting Around."

17 Copies of the "Knitters Almanac" have recently been ordered for the system and are now available for borrowing.

I am also ordering two DVD's featuring Elizabeth Zimmerman "KnittingWorkshop" and "Knitting Glossary."

You should see these DVD's in our online catalog in about two weeks andyou can place holds on them at that time.

Then a non-knitting blog I follow, the Cool Design Concept + Ideas blog, had this as their latest Cool Design:

Says the blog, "The Needle Holder is a convenient way to hold needles while on-the-go, and even at home." The device looks handy, and I love when knitting shows up in the mainstream.\

And finally, an order from that proves I'm just not patient enough for the Brooklyn Library System:


-Katherine Jane


Katherine Jane Arathoon lives in New York City and occasionally guest blogs for Knitting Out Loud. She also blogs at Between Ewe And Me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Missed Connections: Celebrity Edition

From Katherine Jane:

Since moving to New York, I have become notorious in my friend circle for my complete obliviousness to the celebrities that wander around in our midst. Walking through the Upper West Side on a warm summer evening, for example, I can't figure out why my friends are all suddenly suspiciously silent and wide-eyed as we move to one side of the sidewalk to let a hand-holding couple pass by; only after we're a block and a half away does someone explain, "That was Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore!" Or, walking back to work from lunch, at least twice now my co-worker Sarah and I have had the following conversation: "That was Chris Noth!" "Oh. Wait, who?" "Mr. Big from Sex And The City." "Oh. Where?" "Well, he's gone now."

But today, walking back from work Sarah grabbed my arm and said "That was Mary-Louise Parker--and she was talking about yarn!"

Setting aside the "Who?" question (I can Google it later), I skip ahead to the far more important concern: "What was she saying about yarn?"

"I don't know," says Sarah, "Something about how she knew this amazing place to buy yarn. I'm surprised you didn't notice!" She wasn't the slightest bit surprised I didn't notice the celebrity, of course; but she and I were both surprised my ears didn't perk up at the mention of the word yarn nearby.

So anyway, Mary-Louise Parker, if you're out there reading this--won't you share your tips on where in the city to buy amazing yarn?

Maybe we could get together for a stitch-and-bitch some time?

-Katherine Jane


Katherine Jane Arathoon lives in New York City and occasionally guest blogs for Knitting Out Loud. She also blogs at Between Ewe And Me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

P.G. Wodehouse on knitting

You'll notice the novel pictured above is not P.G. Wodehouse, but Barbara Pym, who is equally wonderful but in a Jane Austen-ish way. Please pretend the photo is of Cocktail Time, by P.G. Wodehouse. Here is an excerpt on knitting:

Old Mr. Howard Saxby was seated at his desk in his room at the Edgar Saxby literary agency when Cosmo arrived there. He was knitting a sock. He knitted a good deal, he would tell you if you asked him, to keep himself from smoking, adding that he also smoked a good deal to keep himself from knitting. He was a long, thin old gentleman in his middle seventies with a faraway unseeing look in his eye, not unlike that which a dead halibut on a fishmonger's slab gives the pedestrian as he passes.

Later: "You came to discuss business of some sort. I don't suppose you got far with old Mr. Saxby? No, I thought not. Was he knitting?"
Cosmo winced, her question had touched
an exposed nerve.
"Yes," he said coldly. "A sock."
"How was it coming along?"
"I understood him to say that he had turned the heel."
"Good. Always the testing part. Once past the heel, you're home. But except for learning that the sock was going well, you did not geet much satisfaction out of him, I imagine. Not many of our clients do."

- Kathy

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fiber College, Searsport, Maine

Last weekend we were at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival in Hemlock, NY. But didn't get a chance to take any pictures, rats! The weekend before we were at Fiber College, where we did manage to take pictures. Debbie Bergman of Purple Fleece, is a weaver. I have given her glorious hand towels, pictured above, as presents to many very grateful friends.
This wonderful yarn is from String Theory, a delicious yarn shop in Blue Hill, Maine.
I found this very charming hat, pictured above and below, abandoned in the restroom at Fiber College. It took a good deal of will-power to turn it in at the office. But they knew immediately whose hat it was, so I was happy.
I fell in love with this shawl, knit from hand-spun yarn. The pattern can be found in Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. It is the Wool Peddler's Shawl without the lace border. Easy and comforting.
I have these beautiful tall yellow flowers growing in my garden, and can't remember their name. Leave a comment with their name and I will give you your choice of audiobook.
This weaving of grass and flowers was lovely.

I couldn't quite figure out what this was supposed to be. But I liked it. Detail above, whole tableau below.
I also loved this basket in their shop.
Till next year!