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.