Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Freshly shorn

The Coventry Farmers' WinterFresh Market is open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Coventry High School, 78 Ripley Hill Road, through Feb 28, selling the most amazing Connecticut grown and produced foods like honey and beeswax candles, farmstead cheese, fresh chevre, maple cream and so much more.
It also features yarn from Tuckerwoods Farm in Coventry, which specializes in alpacas.

Other participating vendors are Morning Glory Homemade Goods, which includes stitch markers, hand-knitted scarves and hats; Bethany Homecrafts, which offers felted wool, sculptures, wall hangings, clothing, accessories, braided rugs and felted wool; and Sankows Beaver Brook, which, along with naturally grown lamb, veal, pasture chickens and eggs, offers wool hats, sweats and blankets from Beaver Brook Farm wool.
For lovely free scarf patterns, see For information on the market, see and

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chunky New Knitting Shop

Wool and the Gang is an awesome new shop to visit or dream about.

Saw this tip on the New York Times fashion blog.
"Hello to funky, fun knitting, or simply chic and basic. Top quality wool, produced deep in the heart of the Peru’s Andean Highlands."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Fun to Run and knit

The Hartford Marathon Blue Back Mitten Run 5K (3.1-mile) run and walk combines two of my favorite things - knitting and exercise. Donations will be accepted at the Dec. 6 event and at Blue Back Square shops in West Hartford.

The goal is to collect 1,000 items (new mittens, gloves, hats or scarves) for The Town That Cares charity.
The event includes a kid’s fun run (1/4-mile, 1/2-mile and 1 mile), refreshments, entertainment and awards. The 5K begins at 10:30 a.m.
To register online, see

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I've put a Hex on you

I'm drooling over the newest issue of Knitty, which marks a vibrant redesign. On the cover is a sunlit Malabrigo red-orange shawl knit, "Hex," in lace weight. It's as if the color of a orange-gold oak leaf in fall was captured in the skein.

I am especially obsessed with a crimson sweater called Ruby Red knit in merino superwash sock yarn.

It's a long cardigan with leafy wood hook-and-eye buttons designed by Anna Mikuskova of Maine. See it for yourself.

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's Gonna Be a Cruel Ride, Kid

Only a guy that’s ushered his wife through two pregnancies and births can look back at the absurdity of it all. Not the miracle of life, of course, (cue angels singing) but the cult-like devotion first-time parents hold for what’s considered the childbirth bible — What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff.
With more than 16 million copies sold, the guide, originally published in 1984, is to expectant mothers as Bibles are to hotel rooms, making it the perfect fodder for parody — everyone has either seen it, read it, can quote full passages from it, or avoided it like the plague.
Enter David Javerbaum, comedy writer and former executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whose target audience for What to Expect When You're Expected: a Fetus' Guide to the First Three Tirmesters (Spiegel & Grau, $15) is the most underserved of literary audiences, “the little child in some of us.”
Mom’s asked for advice from every female within a 1,000-mile radius, including the bag lady who picks out the beer cans from the recycle bin before the sanitation truck makes its early morning rounds, and dad’s playing the “mmm-hmm” card from his “I’m feigning attention/agreement/deep interest” repertoire, but who’s Cliff-Noting the baby?
Don’t fear, Javerbaum’s here.
Some excerpts:
“Changes are Mommy will be taking it a little easy these first three months, going to bed earlier, waking up later, canceling all but her most essential triathlons … The household’s entire collection of cookware may soon form a giant game of Jenga in the sink that stands in silent condemnation of Daddy’s astounding selfishness.”
“For her co-workers, Mommy’s pregnancy is sure to unleash a welter of conflicting emotions. … Then there’s Mommy’s boss. He had a lot of faith in her. He thought the company meant everything to her. Now this is the thanks he gets for choosing her over that asshole Phil in sales.”
And advice for week 38 of gestation:
“This week, your body is producing a lot of surfactant, fluid that prevents the air sacs in the lungs from … oh, you don’t care about this stuff anymore. … Remember the time between Obama’s election and his inauguration? When no one gave a crap anymore what Bush was doing, even Bush? Well, right now, this pregnancy is President Bush.”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oh potty, how I love thee

Its provenance was curiosity. Why are Nutmeggers so fond of these little houses with dollhouse proportions out back?
Leslie and Richard Strauss of Chester wondered aloud why residents of their 350-year-old village maintained their backyard latrines and stumbled onto a treasure of historical remembrances, anecdotes, lore, photos and even poetry — all centered on the most necessary room in (or out of) the house.
“Outhouses of Connecticut,” with photographs by the couple’s daughter Jessica Strauss Hunt, ($14.95, Strauss House Creations) offers a visual tour through colonial-era latrines lovingly kept up by their owners, but it’s also a repository of Connecticut history from the perspective of the people.
Some are miniature replicas of the main house, others have been repurposed as garden sheds, storage facilities, and a select few are still in use for the occasional hiker or during an unfortunate loss of water or plumbing indoors.
Read about the “Portland pooper,” three-seaters, the meaning of moon and star carvings which typically adorn a loo’s front door, the Moodus church pastor who conducts Sunday services while urging his parishioners to go light on the coffee before Mass, why many latrines have handles on the sides, and how one 90-year-old former project engineer neatly assembled a tiny carved outhouse inside a narrow-necked jug.
For information, see

wooly deeds done dirt cheap

Trying to unload some yarn 'cause I've been wheezing and sniffling while trying to knit a cardigan in what I thought was gray cotton, only to discover, halfway through the pattern, that the cotton was 30 percent wool, which I am allergic to. I have lambs wool and mohair:

Shorti Cardi

I have been working on a cropped cardigan pattern, The Spunky Eclectic Shorti Cardi, ever since I found it while browsing for simple yet beautiful sweaters online.

I think the color is what arrested me: it's a lovely shade of olive green.
While visiting Stitches 2009 two weeks ago, I bought a bag (10 skeins) of Di.Ve' Zenith in Cornflower Blue.

It is washable merino wool and knits up so easily; knitting with it is like manipulating a softer version of cotton. I'm just about finished with the second sleeve and will soon start the body from the bottom up.
I'm debating whether I should make the body longer because cropped cardigans are difficult to wear for busty women like me.