First things first: If you don’t have the time or headspace for my digressions today, you can just check out the Diane Keaton Cabled Turtleneck, for sale exclusively on Ravelry. Plus, scroll allll the way down for two holiday gifts from me to you.
Allan (Woody Allen): If that plane leaves the ground, and you’re not on it with him, you’ll regret it – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.
Linda (Diane Keaton): That’s beautiful!
Allan: It’s from Casablanca; I waited my whole life to say it.
And now on to the reminiscence. Diane Keaton holds a special place in my heart for a lot of reasons: she’s a great comic actress; she has a sleek, funky style I wish I could emulate; and, my first year in Manhattan, I lived in an apartment she’d lived in when she filmed The First Wives Club. [In retrospect: what an odd film.]
It was the late 90s. I was just out of college and I owned (as you will see in the photo above) a pair of blue suede shoes. And a friend of a friend had an aunt who had just purchased this apartment. In exchange for letting workmen come in and out whenever necessary, four of us rented it for about eight months. For oh-so-cheap.
My room was the anteroom to the balcony on the third floor, basically a wet bar with a half bath. It was almost entirely windows, and we were on the 11th floor with a stunning view of New York in almost 360 degrees. When I described the room to a friend, he said it sounded like a bird’s nest, which was apt. It was also an ice cube tray and a sauna: at night that winter it was freezing cold such that I wore a winter hat to sleep. Then, early in the morning, the sun would come in through all that glass and I would wake up drenched in sweat. Good times.
At one point, my mother came to visit us, and she took these panorama photos. Remember the panorama setting on cameras, introduced in the early 90s? My mother loved the panorama setting, or at any rate she used it a lot. The switch on her camera had three positions: “off” – “on” – “panorama.” If the photographer turned the camera on enthusiastically, say if she was excited at all, she might accidentally turn it all the way to panorama. That is how we ended up with panorama photos of me with Bill Murray; Mom with Bill Clinton; and Clint Eastwood playing golf.
But I digress (again), because obviously she meant these photos to be wide-angle. This shot of the World Trade Center gives me a slight hitch in my throat: the New York where I lived was very much of the pre-9/11 era.
In part due to her presence in Woody Allen’s very best films, Diane Keaton seems very New York to me. She’s Annie Hall, after all, but she’s also Carol Lipton, a certain kind of New York woman who will never stop appearing in coffee shops and parks, reading the newspaper, wearing what they think looks right, having conversations about antidepressants and books.
Keaton’s Linda in Play It Again, Sam is very much that kind of woman. A predecessor to Annie Hall in several senses, the film tells the story of Allan, a divorced film critic who either imagines or hallucinates dating advice from Humphrey Bogart. Linda is Allan’s friend, just as neurotic as he is, and as it turns out she holds part of the key to his getting over his selfish ex-wife.
Allan (Woody Allen): You want a Fresca with a Darvon?
Linda (Diane Keaton): Unless you have apple juice.
Allan: Apple juice and Darvon is fantastic together!
Linda: Have you ever had Librium and tomato juice?
Allan: No, I haven’t personally, but another neurotic tells me they’re unbelievable.
Dick: Could I get a Coke with nothing in it?
Ultimately, Bogey teaches Allan to let go of some of his neuroses and live a little, while Linda teaches him to follow his heart. And isn’t that what so much of us look for in New York City: freedom, adventure, self-acceptance? [Or was that just me, age 23?]
Knit in beautiful Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER, this sweater will snuggle with you while you’re getting over your ex, preparing for the holidays, or dreaming of your own Bogie/matchmaker. Wear it for a stroll through the city to window shop or a walk down your street to see the Christmas lights. It loves you no matter what.
- If you purchase Silver Screen Knits (either as a printed book or a Ravelry ebook) in the month of December, you will receive a code to download the Diane Keaton Cabled Turtleneck pattern for free.
- If you sign up for the Silver Screen Knits Behind the Scenes e-newsletter in the month of December, you will receive a discount code for $2.00 off the Diane Keaton Cabled Turtleneck pattern. Plus, subscribers will be entered to win a skein of SHELTER in the first e-newsletter giveaway.
I’ve been meaning to write to you all about Oxford Yarn Store for a long time. Like, for a year, because that’s how long they’ve been open. I found out about their opening from a flyer posted in North Oxford, which made the whole thing seem like the crazy fantasy of the sleep-deprived mother of a four-month-old. So I was pleasantly surprised to pop over to North Parade last year and see that the flyer’s claims were true (and I was not as far gone as I’d feared): a yarn shop had arrived in Oxford.
I think I mentioned that there wasn’t a dedicated yarn shop in town when we moved here. This was good for my pocket and for the stash-reduction project, but of course not for my soul. So I might have been a little over-excited when I met Karen last year. I took lots and lots of pictures, and kind of told her my life story.
She handled my fangirl-level enthusiasm with grace, even offering to have a launch party for Silver Screen Knits when it came out–a pretty nice thing, since she didn’t know me from a hole in the wall. And last Friday was the day.
Karen and the fabulous James planned an amazing party for Silver Screen Knits, Volume One, with people dressing up and champagne and discounts on the book as well as on yarn purchased to knit the designs in the book. [That discount is good through Saturday 11/15, so pop on down there if you haven't yet.]
One of the great things about this party was that it introduced me to more Oxford knitters. I’ve gotten to know some through Twitter and the Great London Yarn Crawl, but since so far I have been too shy to go to any knitting groups I haven’t met as many as I knew back in the States.
OYS has a really wonderful group of customers. Every time I am there, people come in and Karen knows them by name and remembers what they are working on. There are several knit clubs that meet in the shop each week, and when I have been there with the clubs their members have been friendly and inclusive. This is one of those shops you know will be around for a good long time.
Karen made a lovely toast to me and I sat there feeling super-embarrassed, and then everyone shopped and chatted and drank champagne. Due to Little Miss Feisty’s habits, I haven’t been out on a Friday night in quite some time, so this was a really exciting day for me…made more exciting by all the yarn I got to pet and dream about, and the people who came by to have me sign their book and to ask me about the various patterns.
All of the samples for the book are at the shop right now, so this is a great opportunity to take a look at the products of the patterns close-up. The fabulous Liz, one of the tech editors for the book, admitted to us that she tried on all of the samples while editing, and confirmed what I have long suspected: that both the Humphrey Bogart pullover and the James Dean cardigan make excellent women’s sweaters as well. Anyone in Oxford want to model them for a photo shoot?
Now that the party’s over, I find myself dreaming of all kinds of yarn I saw in the shop that night: Colinette, Manos, Artesano, and especially the beautiful Jamieson’s pictured above. I think it’s time for some colorwork hand mitts, don’t you? What would you make in the Jamieson’s, and what color?
Wow. The last month has gone pretty quickly, and I haven’t updated you guys as I should have. I think part of the problem is that I’ve been saving Silver Screen Knits news for the SSK Behind the Scenes Newsletter – I don’t want this blog to turn into a great big ad for my book. But I also don’t want it to go dark. It’s a balancing act, I guess. [In SSK news - the newsletter has featured some really fun interviews with designers like Ann Weaver and Veera Välimäki. Do sign up!]
While we’re on the subject, the print books have arrived, and you can indeed order one if you like:
But that’s all I’m going to say about that today.
When last we spoke, I was supposed to be headed to The Small Wool Gathering, a reunion of sorts for Plug & Play Pembrokeshire alumnae and friends organized by The Small Crafters. From all I have heard, it was an amazing weekend, with great food and camaraderie, plus top-notch classes by our favourite knitting editor, Amy Singer. But no sooner had Mr. Trask and I gotten into our rental car (brave us! driving!) than Little Miss Feisty got the merest hint of sick and we had to turn back. I am sure you can imagine that the weekend was rather different than what we had planned, and we were so sad to miss everyone.
However! This offered an excuse to go to Wantage and take two of Amy’s classes there, at Purlescence UK headquarters. Wantage is a lovely little town near Oxford. Their marketplace was up and running when I arrived:
And I was greeted by the statue of King Alfred (born in Wantage):
And best of all I got to learn Auto-Pilot Socks and Silk Spindling with Amy.
Amy is such a wonderful teacher: calm and reassuring, with a lot of enthusiasm. [I learned much more than I expected, for example, about the life and habits of silk worms.]
And came home happy.
And the next day we tried on LMF’s Halloween costume:
Which was the highlight of the month.
Additional images from here include Little Miss Feisty’s new favorite food:
And holiday clothing for one of my favorite foods:
Anyway, that’s the big news from here. What have you been up to in the last month? And would you like to come to a party?
Silver Screen Knits Book Launch
Friday, Nov. 8
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Oxford Yarn Store
3 North Parade Avenue
Oxford OX2 6LX
There will be drinks, and a discount on the book and on yarn purchased to make any of the designs in the book. And some of us will be dressed in vintage clothing. A lovely time will be had by all! I’ll be there signing books, so do pop in. Otherwise, who will I talk to?
In all the excitement of releasing the book (eek!), I didn’t have a chance to tell you guys about the Great London Yarn Crawl. This was a new event, planned by crazy Rachel and crazy Allison, in which five groups of 10-15 knitters each dashed all over London, dropping into various yarn and crafty shops, knitting and crocheting and crafting and shopping and chatting. It was amazing.
My group, the Purple Route, started in Islington at Loop:
I hadn’t been to any of the shops on the route before, and I was a little nervous. You know how it is. You hear of a popular yarn shop, it’s meant to be great – but then it’s only so-so, and…well. I needn’t have worried, because each shop was fantastic in its own way. Loop is stuffed full of yarns it’s hard to find in England, but the shop (two floors!) is laid out in such a way that it feels roomy and yet cozy and welcoming. As I type that sentence, I realize that the layout is a miracle of TARDIS-like proportions. The Handweavers’ Studio was full of beautiful, beautiful fibre, and I enjoyed looking at all of it. [Since I'm not a spinner, I also felt that I was saving money just by standing there. Is that wrong?] The Village Haberdashery has both spinning and knitting supplies, with such cute stuff and lovely staff. Check out their window:
They had arranged for their knitting teacher, Monica Russel, to be in the shop during the yarn crawl. She helped us browse the patterns and yarn and signed copies of her most recent books for us, too. We paused for a group shot before going in, and the owner (pink, back row) popped out because she was so excited about the yarn crawl:
I do wish that I knew how to sew. I mean, I can hem a skirt (by hand) and sew on a button, but nothing else. I understand sewing is a bit quicker than knitting, which sounds wonderful. But I also understand that it requires a bit more precision than knitting does, which…would probably not work for me. Anyway.
Enthusiasm was the word of the day, as we went from bus to tube to ThamesLink to stroll down the street (or, when pressed for time, frantic aerobic walking). We knit and crocheted everywhere we went:
The last stop was Sharp Works, another really welcoming shop. I had hit a wall by then, I’m afraid, and was missing Little Miss Feisty, and I now find that I took no photos. I was thrilled to see both Manos and Mirasol there, and bought some lovely sock yarn.
You all know I’m not usually a joiner, and feel sort of shy in groups (even groups of knitters). But the yarn crawl was delightful – a long, tiring day, but a worthwhile one. Would yarn crawl again!
So one housekeeping bit: do comment below or email me at KELT (at) knitlikeyoumeanit DOT com to let me know if you have knit squares for Alli’s Wool Week yarn-bombing, so I can enter you in the Brooklyn Tweed LOFT giveaway.
And tell me – were you at the yarn crawl? Or have you been to any yarn shops in London? Which would you recommend?
|Go to Ecwid to purchase the
Print Book plus PDF download
- PRINT BOOK SHIPS OCT. 21.
Obviously, if you buy the book as a Ravelry download, you’ll get it immediately. If you buy the print book, it will be shipped to you on Oct. 21, and you’ll immediately receive a link to download a PDF of the book as well.
I’ve mentioned before that subscribers to the Silver Screen Knits Behind the Scenes list receive a discount on the book; I sent that discount to them over the weekend, but you can still get it if you subscribe now. Additionally, if you purchase the book on Ravelry, you will receive a discount on the print book.
The 10 patterns in Volume One were inspired by some amazing classic movies, including Bonnie and Clyde, The Women, The Philadelphia Story, and Bullitt. The text includes descriptions of the films, memorable lines from each film, and even notes on where knitting appears in some of them.
The patterns in the book were inspired by the men and women who performed in the movies as well as the garments they wore. I started looking into knitting and classic movies because of some beautiful photos of Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, and other stars knitting on set between takes, but the book idea also grew out of the chic garments of the golden age of Hollywood and a bunch of fascinating movies, some of which we still watch today, and some of which we ought to.
As most of you know, this book has been in progress for a while, as I got permission to use film stills and lined up designers and yarn companies to participate, found an amazing photographer and stunning graphic designer, and stalked them all until they agreed to be part of the book. It took some time to pull together, but I am really excited about the result.
I launched the sales of the ebook and the preorders of the print book over the weekend, but waited a few days both to give list subscribers a chance to order and to make sure that everything was working properly before really announcing it here. Thank you so much to everyone who has ordered already – I am bowled over every time an order comes in.
I had a lot of help on this book. Danielle of Fibre Space and Karida of Neighborhood Fiber Co. told me that it could and should happen, and then they talked me through all kinds of anxiety while I made it happen…and then they contributed patterns and helped me find other designers and yarn companies to get involved.
Ann Weaver has been involved in so many different aspects of the book, from designing patterns for Volumes One and Two to giving me feedback on my designs to modeling the sweater she designed and then becoming our model for several other garments as well.
Can you believe how cool knitters are? I just love them. Thank you, all of you, for helping make this book happen.
Yes, it’s the post you’ve all been waiting for: the winners of our Spud & Chloë prizes.
First, a few more finished Right As Rainbow cardigans:
And look at even more of them over on the Ravelry discussion thread. We’ve had several people come out of the woodwork in the final days, which is really exciting.
One wonderful thing about this pattern is how flexible it is – the different choices of colors and modifications really show that off. Check out the various projects on Ravelry to see how many different ways you can make this cardigan. Excitingly, Stephanie is working on adult sizing for the pattern, so pretty soon we might need to do this again.
And now…the prizes.
Prize One! For a random person who began the cardigan. The Random Number Generator, well-known to those who read this blog regularly, chose alcbrooks, whose sweater is among the FOs above (I love those buttons, don’t you?).
Prize Two! For a random person who finished the cardigan. The RNG chose ewehinger – who, coincidentally, lives very near my hometown of Chevy Chase, Md.
And…drumroll…Prize Three! The creativity prize goes to the divine Sallywool. Having seen this sweater in person, I can tell you that Stephanie made a fantastic choice. Here’s what she says about Sally’s cardi:
I LOVE how [Sally] added rainbows to the wrist and waist. There is so much color in her sweater. She even added a little extra zing by adding buttons that alternate color. She made a lot of very conscious color decisions…ones I never would have thought of. Her cardi is full of surprises. It’s rainbow-tastic!
Thank you all so much for joining me on the crazy ride that this knitalong has been, and especially thank you to Catherine, my co-conspirator, and to Spud & Chloë, for offering such amazing prizes. Hurrah for all of you…I do love how knitters are willing to do crazy things together.
So tell me in the comments – would you want to do this again? What kind of pattern would excite you?
We’ve got 48 hours or so until the Right As Rainbow baby cardigan knitalong ends. On Saturday, I went to the Great London Yarn Crawl, and Sally and I established that not everyone has finished their sweater yet:
I have to say that I’m really grateful to Sally for the “slow and steady” attitude. Really, those of you who rushed on through don’t get the treat of deadline knitting today and tomorrow. [Right? That's a treat, right? Oh dear.]
Sally’s sweater is gorgeous; look at those colors.
Meanwhile, amchart and her sister cast on last night and are already into the second stripe of the yoke (in other words, ahead of me).
And then we have deepcovegrl, who has joined the finishers:
Mine is coming together well, if I do say so myself. I merged sleeves and body on the train from Oxford to London on Saturday morning, with only a brief crisis of faith; then I spent some of our travel between various yarn shops trying to place the markers correctly.
Those who are still knitting and who may feel at sea, marker-wise, I strongly suggest you take a look at Catherine’s blog post on the markers, and her latest post in the Ravelry discussion about how to place the markers (which gives guidance no matter how many stitches you have after the marriage of body and sleeves).
Lastly, we have had a bit of a tragedy in our knitalong; Sara (GoalieGirl33) left her knitting bag on a business trip to San Diego. The hotel is trying to trace is for her now, but she may well be out half a cardigan. Boo! Everyone send homing vibes to that little cardi…and look forward to more updates tomorrow and Wednesday.
In the meantime, don’t forget that you can get a discount on Silver Screen Knits by starting a Sophia Loren project on Ravelry by Friday – and you can get a chance to win some lovely Brooklyn Tweed Loft by knitting squares for Alli’s Campaign for Wool yarn-bombing. Enjoy!
Today is Sophia Loren‘s birthday! I wasn’t thinking about this when I submitted the pattern to Knitty several months ago, but it does seem appropriate that the sweater came out in the same month that she was born.
The Sophia Loren sweater in Knitty Deep Fall was inspired by Loren’s performance in Woman of the River, an Italian film from 1958 in which she plays Nives, a peasant who falls in love with a smuggler.
Despite her success and legendary sex appeal, Loren is known for staying true to her impoverished roots by playing women like Nives. Her film career began in the 1950s, when her bombshell figure and attitude shocked and delighted both Italian and American directors. Loren remains a beautiful woman and a great actress, and still appears in films from time to time (remember her turn in Prêt-à-Porter? But let’s not talk about Grumpier Old Men).
In honor of Sophia’s birthday, and of the release of Silver Screen Knits on Ravelry next week, I’m offering anyone who starts a project in the Sophia sweater a 20% discount on the ebook of Silver Screen Knits: Volume I. All you need to do is start a project on Ravelry and tag it “happybdaysophia” by next Friday, September 27. I’ll find you and send you a discount code for the book. I can’t wait to see what yarns and colors you choose! Check out my blog post from last week to see some color ideas I came up with.
Special alert: tomorrow is Sophia Loren‘s birthday, and I’ll have a special post and offer for you all on the blog to celebrate. Remember to check back, or sign up for the Silver Screen Knits Behind the Scenes list to receive special news and a discount code for the book delivered to your inbox.
Today I want to remind you all of the day I arrived here in England, almost exactly two years ago (Sept. 22, in fact). I was jet-lagged and intimidated, and really unsure of what we were doing moving far away from everyone we loved. [Also, my stash was a lot smaller.]
And then I saw it: a sign for the Campaign for Wool. Kitten with a Whiplash had written about it in the comments of one of my stash giveaways, but I couldn’t believe there was an ad at the airport, for goodness’ sake. I had no idea what a big deal this thing was.
The campaign was convened by The Prince of Wales and is meant to encourage the use of wool in fashion, interior design, and even buildings as an environmentally sustainable choice. Wool organizations and industries that use wool join in the campaign to encourage the use of wool and to support sheep farming and the textile community.
As part of this year’s Wool Week, there will be a yarn-bombing display at the John Lewis Oxford Street in London. The display with start out a bare, white room, and its furniture will be taken over by yarn-bombings slowly throughout the week. I think this sounds lovely, and certainly in line with my teeny tiny yarn bombing initiative last month.
Alli of Champagne and Qiviut (as well as the Great London Yarn Crawl; for goodness’ sake, how does she get it all done?) is working with knitters to donate brightly-colored square bits of knitting (sound an awful lot like gauge swatches, don’t they?). The campaign has asked that yarn in which you make the squares have at least some wool content.
So you know what’s coming, don’t you?
This yarn is gorgeous – Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Meteorite. I hate to let it go, but one lucky person who knits at least two squares for the project will receive it. Knit your squares, photograph them, and email me the photograph (then send the squares to Alli using the information on her site). I’ll enter you into a drawing to win this yarn, which is soft and tweedy and somewhat rare in England. A friend brought it to me when she came to visit last year, and I would love for one of you to use it to make something gorgeous.
Get knitting! Get gauge swatch locating! Alli needs to receive all squares by October 7, and I’ll use the Random Number Generator to choose the winner that day as well. And, hey, use the comments to let us know you’re making squares, and what they might look like.