Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ok, back to life.

If you are in the Mood to make a hat MnMs on Ravelry was just diagnosed with cancer and is asking people if they'd make her a hat and mail it to her to help keep her morale up. I just finished my sweater and think i'll take a break and make her one.

i am becoming an espresso bar-fly. i'm thinking of getting walkie talkies for the store. i can leave one in the mailbox and take the other with me when i go to loiter at Scratch. customers can send me a ten-four on the talkie and tell me to get my ass back to work and hook them up with some fibre. or maybe i can get a pager like all the other dealers?

The new Berroco Ultra Alpaca Booklet (279) looks NIIIICE!

me likey Unity

Umbretta ... not crazy about the 2x2 rib, but that can be changed.

Thank You for the Good Vibes!

wow, i love people! thank you for the supportive comments, they have a magical quality. mean people suck but my faith in humanity is restored. well, it was never really lost, just eroded, but you've definitely helped to buttress it and maybe even make it stronger.

The gooey brownie was reeeeeaaaalllly good, but it didn't do the rick. some friendly custoemrs came in before closing, but that didn't do it. pluto gave me kisses, which is always good, but didn't do it. i went to gym after work and had a good workout, and that was good for me but didn't really get me back to baseline. i went to the green room, sat down and ordered a big platter of nachos and a quesedilla and my favourite peach juice. the waittress gave me the fish eye for ordering so much without even glancing at the menu, which made me laugh and helped a bit. all i'd eaten that day was the latte & brownie and getting something in my stomach helped a bit. my boyfriend met me to eat 3/4 of the food i ordered, and that's did the trick. withing 5 minutes of john's sitting down i'd forgotten all about it.

so i guess when people are the problem people are also the solution. and laughing. we went for a stroll along the college street corso after our pig-out. i had the best gelato i've had since i lived in Italy at Dolce Cafe at College & Montrose. I highly recommend! It's pretty, comfortable, friendly, has WiFi, the pastries look great, and the gelto is .... transcendant. i could sit there all day in a fantasy world and pretend i'm back in Siena strolling to Nannini every night and then hanging out in the campo.

but coming in to your comments today makes a huge difference. i love knitting and crocheting and all the other fibre arts that i don't have time to partake in. i volunteer for these things because i like helping other people get the same enjoyment from it. i also do it because for whatever cultural reason it is very hard to connect with people in Toronto. but life is about relationships, connections with other people is what we need most. i suppose i do it to make the world the kind of place i want to live in. as long as i know that the work is making a difference to people like you i'm happy to leave the mean people to their dark little world and find some compassion for them.

later gator! gotta go make some magic happen :-)

P.S. Happy Gay Pride Weekend Everyone! John lives in that neighbourhood and the streets have already been blocked off and preparations are well under way. Looks like it's going to be a AMAZING party! i like a nice party, we should do it more. r

Friday, June 27, 2008


i am catching so much shit for this stitch 'n pitch thing! the powers that be asked me to help, i tell them i'm bad at these things, that i have a business to run, and that i'm really bad at these things. they whined, i gave in. i tried to weasel out of it and they pulled me back in. i'm not getting paid, there is nothing in this for me.

now lets be explicit, none of the stores who sell tickets make anything off their sale, the distributors who donate free stuff don't make any money and i'm not sure if the ball park even makes money off of the discounted tickets. every cent goes directly to pay for the tickets, we're just kind hearted intermediaries who facilitate an event for all of you. we are intercessors.

so i have to send out info about the event to every source i can find in southern ontario and the environs. and i'm thorough, i leave no stone unturned. I'm not a communications director or a marketer. i was trained for a decade as an academic, i can sit alone in a small room and amass massive amounts of information, organize it and make sense of it. i can cultivate and apply prose, but i was trained to communicate with other academics in that vernacular and within the boundaries of that culture. i don't know shit about publicizing an event.

i write a blurb that is as lucid a possible: who, what, when, where, why, how much, and so what. i assume that most people don't spend their days cruising every knitting forum online. i post the notice in every conceivable place a southern ontarian or someone who may like to visit Toronto may be. I send it to Meetup knitting groups and in all the groups on Ravelry that are related to ontario or may have a large contingent of southern ontarians.

Now people are yelling at me! one store owner is pissed because her clients are going to think she's selling tickets to the event, but she doesn't want to sell tickets, and she doesn't want to field phone calls from her clients. sorry, i thought knitters at your store might want to know about a knitting event in their area, feel free to send them to your competitors for the tickets. someone in a forum says it is inappropriate to post about this event, a canadian event in a forum about canadian knitters who all happen to like something or other that is canadian. sorry, it made sense to me, have ontario knitters seceded from the federation of canadian knitters? someone from an online knitting group in a place near toronto tells me "never to solicit them again". so sorry, i figured a public online group of knitters who want to meet other knitters to knit with in person might possibly want to receive a private e-mail to the moderator letting them know about an event near them where knitters get together to knit together in person. so sorry to you all, my logic must be flawed.

but the worst was an actual embarrassment. i open my ravelry mail today to find a note from the yarn harlot. paraphrasing: "dear haley, i hear i am throwing the first pitch at the ball game. this is news to me, what up? YH." fuckity fuck fuck fuck. "Dear YH, i apologize profusely! the baseball guy seems to have passed me erroneous information. christ almighty. i'm going to hang myself now. with best intentions, haley." it's good that the most influential person in my industry thinks i'm a deranged opportunist, this will pave the way for a brilliant new career as a real estate agent.

i don't need this. i'm going next door to scratch for a chai latte and a gooey brownie.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Announcing a New Stitch 'n Bitch!

We're starting a new daytime Stitch 'n Bitch on Tuesdays from 12pm to 4pm (Our usual is on Thursdays from 5 to 8pm).

What is a Stitch 'N Bitch?
A Stitch 'N Bitch is a social knitting group. We gather once a week and chat while we knit and/or crochet. Stitch 'n Bitch is free and you can just drop in and join us. You don't have to bring anything other than yourself and you knitting (or you can purchase a project here).

Verena Knitting Magazine! This is the first issue of Verena in English. Normally it is published in German and Russian. I have a few of their prior magazines from the winter, they have GORGEOUS projects! European magazines always have really pretty, feminine designs.

this looks cool. it's knit side to side, different colours & texture. could be a good way to use up a a few different yarns in the same gauge.

this just looks cool.

pretty crossover top!

pretty top, very sophisticated!

i love this!. make it longer as a dress?

beautiful cabled tank!

elegant saily never goes out of style.

i like simple things that can be worn all year

i've got a brand new espresso bar!

i'm getting ready for my chai latte, it was phenomenal! i know i can make it myself, but theirs is a billion times better!

20 minutes later ....

mmmm, almost better than sex. almost.

i need to get a laptop for the WiFi.

interweave crochet's summer issue preview is online:
you can see the projects here:

me likey boucle bathmat
Boucle Crocheted Bath Mat

sir stephen the bunny

Crocheted Bunny

summer daisy sundress

Summer Daisy Sundress

ocean pearls cardigan

Ocean Pearls Cardigan

flirty thirties tank

Flirty 30s Tank Top

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer Hours Start June 14!
Due to the warm weather and construction ourside the store we're starting summer hours a little early this year. Until the construction ends we'll be closed on Sundays and Mondays, once it ends we may re-open on Mondays. All classes remain the same.

Sunday Closed

Monday Closed
Tuesday 11am - 6pm
Wednesday 11am - 6pm
Thursday 11am - 8pm
Friday 11 am - 5pm
Saturday 11am - 6pm

New Holiday: YARN SWAP DAY!
Our last yarn & craft swap was so much fun and was so well received that we are going to host one every month!

Where & When?
Saturday June 21 from 1 to 5pm
Knit-O-Matic, 1378 Bathurst St, Toronto ON M5R 3J1
(416) 653-7849

What is a Yarn Swap?
A yarn swap is a big eco-friendly redistribution of yarn, needles and other craft supplies. Bring in the crafty stuff you never want to see again and deposit it in one of our baskets. Poke around at all the other donations and take home whatever you like. It's OK If you don't have any yarn to bring, you can still take whatever you like. Don't be embarrassed by the quality of yarn you bring, whatever is left over is donated to charities like Street Knit, Sistering Toronto, Women's Shelters and the Hospital for Sick Children, most of whom prefer acrylic!

Next Up: Beauty & Clothing Swap!
Since the Yarn swap went so well we've been asked to host a clothing & beauty swap. If it works well we'll look into making it into a monthly affair on the 4th Sunday of every month.

Where & When?
Saturday June 21 from 1 to 5pm
Knit-O-Matic, 1378 Bathurst St, Toronto ON M5R 3J1
(416) 653-7849

What is a Clothing & Beauty Swap?
It's a little like going to a party at a consignment store, but everything you take home is FREE. Bring in clean & wearable clothes, shoes, handbags, jewellery, accessories and beauty products and take home what you want. Beauty products can range from hair dryer to nail polish. Vintage Clothes are good. All leftovers will be donated to the local Women's Shelter and Goodwill.

For this event to work, PLEASE NOTE:
1. All cosmetics must be new & unused. A brand new shampoo or nail polish that you used once & didn't like is OK, but all lip, eye & other facial cosmetics must be new, unused & unopened. If there are any signs of use better not bring it.

2. Please don't bring clothes that have already had their day in the sun. Use discretion: If it's showing signs of wear, is smelly or is hopelessly out of date
it's best to send them directly to the Goodwill. Here are some helpful guidelines for questionable garments. When you look at it, what are you thinking?:

  • "What were we thinking back then?" = NOT GOOD, save for Halloween
  • "I wouldn't be caught dead in that" = BAD
  • "What's that Stain?" = BAD, anyway you'll need it for court
  • "But homeless people could still use that" = REALLY BAD
  • "I wonder if that smell will come out in the wash?" = INCINERATE IMMEDIATELY
  • "What the Fuck is that?!" = TOO MUCH INFORMATION
  • "This old fabric is special but the style is hopeless" = GOOD, the crafty will likey
  • "I don't know why, but all the kids are wearing things like this" = GOOD
  • "It reminds me of old photos from the 20s/30s/40s/50s" = VERY GOOD
  • "Is Chanel/Prada/Dior a good label?" = GOD

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Take 15% off Yarn, Books, Needles & Accessories!
On Now until July 15th

Sunday, June 08, 2008

some nice people came in today and gave me some baby alpaca to play with. it is called timiQuipa and is sport weight.

i'm catching up on some of my Dr Who. while i was straining the bit with the final season of Battlestar Galactica (which they're totally dragging out. the poor writers, they must be looking to desperate housewives for dramatic inspiration. just get them to earth already!) and i totally forgot that the 4th season of Dr Who is in full swing! sayonara cylons!

so, can i dish? i'm not a spoiler, i just don't care if someone tells me how things end. but this is really more idle chatter. rose is back!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

this is a fun blog update.

i don't endorse the following product and I am not at all familiar with the quality, but check out this sock dyeing video

is it me or are amy butler's yoga bags just big knitting bags?

Her nappy bags (
aren't the british quaint) also look knit-worthy. browsing her website i wish i sewed (and that I hadn't broken my sewing machine).
this is a real blog update...

... not just hawking my immense talent ;-)

pattern in progress ... a supposedly easy raglan surplice (crossover) sweater in Mission Falls 1824 Cotton (colour 771 Dusk). Patterns are easy to write in a specific sizing group, but ranging from petite to plus is challenging, everything works differently , the proportions don't adjust evenly, especially when it comes to diagonals. by the time i am done making it will be easy-peasy for you guys.

making patterns seems to agree with me, i'm not getting bored, the math is good for the mind and the creativity is good for the soul.
ongoing construction is fascinating me. the middle of the street is being dug up (illustrated below).

Under the concrete and pavement are old, moldering wooden ties which support the streetcar tracks ... looking at these things you get a good idea why they have to do the construction.

The old wood is collected. where does it go? i don't know, the mouldy old gross wood fairy picks them up and takes them away to tree heaven.

The concrete is separated from the wood and iron rails and is scooped up and dumped in the big blue bins.

they dump regardless of pedestrians walking by, it's a little disquieting having a big block of concrete dumped a few metres away from your head.

A big jack-hemmer attachment is added to the digger and the concrete is separated from the iron rails. it's kinda phallic.

the cool green iron ties that match the store will unfortunately replace the wood, supporting the rails buried under the concrete. a green street would be funky.

..... and the cycle of life goes on

Friday, June 06, 2008

scenes from a birthday

Thursday May 29th, 5pm....
Suffering from an over abundance of humility and absent minded creativity it is brought to my attention that the festivites taking place are in fact a surprise party. It was a success, I had no clue. Not even the cake tipped me off.

Below, and unrelated to the event, Ramona finds an excellent new use for Addi Lace needles. See my flickr photo stream for more more views. I'm curious, has this coiff been documented before?

Marla and Shelna entertained us with full contact pregnant sumo wrestling, which entails standing tummy to tummy and letting the babies kick the crap out of each other.

Lynne doesn't like having her photo taken but she adores her one of a kind Pac-Man hand spun yarn from Studio-Loo. I hear miss pac-man is on the books.

Friday May 30th

Waiting for dear boyfrined (dbh?), i visit winners at college park and explore. the place is very picked over and the Teenflo dess I manage to dig up on the clearance rack is a size 2. wandering in to the children's section, what should i find ....

Biblical Barbies! "Tales of Glory"Jesus, Mary & Queen Esther (old testament). Even better, they are talking barbies! Push a button on their backs and they cite scripture! Each doll has 5 citations from their own books of the bible. I liked Mary the best, her scripture was of a gentle nature.

it doesn't look like it would be a ton of fun to change their clothes and do their hair.

they don't come with any jewellery, little shoes (i love the shoes) or hair accessories. But she doesn't even come with a hamintaschen or any other Purim paraphenalia. And don't even start me on her anachronistic appearance. Esther was a Persian Jew, this chick is s pallid ashkenaz .... she actually bears a resemblance to my friend Marilyn.
But check out the body on Jesus Ken!
Religious Barbies seem to have an inverse reltionship to the secular ones, because there was only one Jesus Ken doll left on the shelf while there are plenty of the girls on the shelf.

i love winners. :-)

Later that Afternoon ...
i went to a starbucks for an hour, scored a comfy chair, knitted...

and entertained the people sittitng next to me while i took photos of my work.

Later that night i went to my parents house for shabbat dinner. my brother & his girlfriend gave me a bunch of beauty products from The Green Beaver, my aunt gave me a a planter of herbs and my mom made TWO pies so i could pig out on my birthday and everyone could still get their share. pie was enjoyed and i really like the green beaver grapefruit facial cleanser and eye makeup remover ! Lee says yuo can get them at the health food store on davenport at ossington.

and now i'm 35 years alive.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Galit: Wavy Baby Blanket Knitting Kit ~$65 BUY NOW!
Sample shown in color Baby 91 Currently Available in the Following Colors:
Baby 91 , Tutti Fruity 67 Sherbet 99, Ocean 100
Galit means waves in Hebrew, but I've always associated it with gentle kindness. This knitting kit is based on a pattern that is both beautiful and simple, it's easy to make and makes you look like you're a genius with needles! It is made with soft, colorful, Italian cotton that stripes all by itself. Currently the kit is available in 4 colors, but if you would like we can provide it in any of the colors the yarn is available in. The pattern is comprehensive and unique to Knit-O-Matic. It is written so everyone can follow it and includes support and troubleshooting for novices. Included are explicit directions on how to make and measure a gauge swatch for this project as well directions and illustrations to help you re-orient yourself if you get lost. The Galit Wavy Baby Blanket Kit Contains: ● 10 balls of Soft, Premium Quality, Aran Weight Italian Cotton Blend with a Long Colorway that stripes (Needful Kelly, 55% cotton/45% acrylic, 50g = 98m, ● Pattern Unique to Knit-O-Matic and not available elsewhere. Pattern is easy to follow and includes support and troubleshooting for novices. ● Sturdy Plastic Project Bag with Zipper. Bag is large enough to hold the project while you knit it and can be re-used afterwards for other projects or storage. The Kit Does Not Contain (but can be added to): ● 5mm (us 8)-29" circular needles ● Locking Stitch Markers If you like, we can add the following materials to your order: ● 5mm (US 8)-29" Clover Bamboo circular needles ~ $13.00 ● Clover Locking Stitch Markers ~ $7.00 ● 5mm (US H) Clover Soft touch Crochet Hook ~ $8.50 ● Clover mini kacha-kacha knitting row counter ~ $13.00 ● Clover Chibi Darning Needle Set ~ $6.00 ● Clover Shiro Spring Tape Measure ~ $7.50
Skill Level Intermediate-beginner (you're sick of scarves and are ready to move on) Skills Knit, follow a pattern, keep track of rows, increase a stitch (knit front & back or kfb), decrease a stitch (knit 2 together, or k2tog), cast on & cast off, weave in ends, crochet slip stitch (optional & not necessary to complete this project). For help with knitting techniques and skills visit, or refer to the following references: Stitch 'N Bitch by Debbie Stoller, The Knitters Companion by Vicki Square. Size 29" x 30" Size 29" x 30" Materials 10 balls Needful Kelly (aran weight cotton) 5mm/29" circular needles ● Row counter (optional) ● Locking Stitch Markers in 2 colours (optional but will make your life easier!) ● 5mm crochet hook (optional, for finishing) ● 2 thin double pointed needles (optional, for measuring gauge) Gauge 18 sts & 28 rows = 4"/10cm over wave stitch 19 sts & 26 rows = 4"/10cm in stocking stitch suggested by yarn Below: How to Identify the Pattern Row if you Get Lost Copyright © 2008 Knit-O-Matic, all rights reserved. No pattern of other material may be reproduced or distributed - mechanically, electronically, or by other means, including photocopying - without written permission of Knit-O-Matic. Pattern is for personal use only and not to be used to create items for commercial sale. Designer Liane Schwarz, Editor Haley Waxberg. For pattern corrections see our website at