26 July, 2006

What would you do if you were stranded on an island?

My partner and I are looking for someone to act as caretaker for our house on Smith Island for some part of or all of the next two years. It would be rent free in exchange for paying the bills (electric and phone)and basic maintenance, and the contingency that we come and stay some weekends. This would be absolutely perfect for someone who wanted to get away and write or make art. There's not a lot of money to be made here, you are seperated from the mainland by a 40 minute ferry ride and there's not many possiblities for work on or off the island. Odd jobs and working on the water keep folks going. People who are handy--carpenters, mechanics and such--would be in demand here! It is a wonderful and inspiring place, however, for someone who desires to live simply and get away from it all. There's no cell phone reception, no DSL, and 3 TV channels on a clear day. Ahhh...I shall miss it! If this sounds intriguing to you drop me a line.

23 July, 2006


This pattern is in one of the vintage knitting books I have, from Columbia Yarns-which was in Philly coincidentally. I'm not sure of the year but there are some clues: There is an interesting pattern for an "Auto Robe" which is a sort of afghan for the backseat of your obviously unheated auto, so there were cars about. But there are no patterns for men in the service, which seem to be included in most WW1-era knitting books. It's hard to say, I guess it could also be from pre-WWI or the 20's, but I have some books from the twenties and the photos have a different quality. Well, in any case there was a pattern for a baby sweater that was really cute and seemed like a good simple pattern that people would really like to knit up. I love love love reworking old patterns, it's like solving a puzzle sometimes. Especially with the really old ones where they don't even include a picture! Also, it's interesting to see knitting has changed. Problem with this one was--as with most old patterns--there was no gauge, no sizing. So, there was nothing for it but to swatch and calculate and cast on with notebook and pencil ready at hand. The sizing is all weird for babies in these old patterns, the proportions are different then we are used to and the armhole depth is always impossible. Who wants to spend 10 minutes shoving a newborn's arm into a tiny hole? But I guess if nurse was doing it who cared?! So I came up with a reasonable approximation with a much looser gauge (who wants to knit at 36sts/10cm?)and sized it for 3-6mos, 12 mos, and 18-24mos. Oh, and I also opted for a button instead of all the ribbons. I don't think there are many people who are able to tie those elaborate bows anymore, and if there are they are probably really into it in a way that would be a little creepy.
The pattern for this little sweater I'm calling "Beatrix" is available at Rosie's and I have formatted it into .pdf (painstaking!) so you can buy it here! How exciting! Check out the link on the sidebar!

22 July, 2006

will and won't

I suppose I should say a bit about myself, but I will keep it brief. I live on Smith Island, which is a small island in the Chesapeake Bay. It is Maryland's only remaining inhabited island accessible only by boat. There are about 250-300 people who live here, in three towns: Ewell, where I live; Rhodes Point, which used to be called Rogue's Point and was once a popular pirate hang out; and Tylerton which is actually it's own tiny island and you need a boat to get to it.
I do a lot of textile things some are art and some are craft and that is a whole bigger discussion for someone else's blog. But, I have decided that I should put my stuff out there for all to see. It seems to me that this is now the only way to get stuff out there. I have avoided the computer all these years and now I must give in. I will post lots of photos of stuff and have patterns for folks to buy and talk a bit about how I work. I will not discuss my pets, lovelife, what I had for dinner, or what I think of other people. I also won't ramble on purposelessly about my views on certain yarns or craft related gadgetry, who's making what and how precious it is. I have worked in yarn shops and taught knitting for almost 10 years and I get paid to do that.
I have been designing my own line of patterns this year. The company name is "The Smith Island Pattern Factory." All the designs will eventually be available as .pdf files you can purchase from here. I have a few designs available now at Rosie's Yarn Cellar. This one is called Beatrix (which I am trying to a picture of but I don't know if it's working). I will post more about the pattern later.
Now I will go and see if this all works.

the beginning...

and so i enter the 21st century.