next in line with an exit strategy

December 17, 2014


Been busy trying to reflect after spending a long weekend taking a knitting instructor class at the FIT in NYC, parallel knitting and making new friends – and reading Artlark‘s book promo site. Yesterday I took a pre-concert stroll at the Grand Central Holiday market looking for knitting inspiration.

Guess that’s why I am here today.

Why can’t I be more like Hélène Grimaud? Will I be forever stuck at the Madeleine part of becoming a decent pianist?? :(

Ms. Grimaud performed at the Armory last night. It was quite a production, reminding me of the midnight Magic Flute at the Savonlinna Opera Festival I witnessed at the age of 10. Dark in a soviet medieval way if you know what I mean.

Having heard beforehand that the theme would be water, I wasn’t alarmed when the performance hall floor the size of a huge (black) hockey rink started leaking from underneath. I don’t want to ruin this for you but it took 30 minutes for the rink to be filled with water — while the audience watched in complete silence. Anyone who has lived in the city knows this is quite a luxury in itself (the sirens were almost muted by the thick walls).

After that everything went pitch black so we didn’t see how the pianist glided to her spot like a jesus walking on water. Then she played a full program for almost an hour with no sheet music whatsoever. How is this humanly possible??

I woke up to the applause that sounded like a quiet rainstorm. Either it was enhanced by the real rain from the outside or the audience’s response was lukewarm, I am not sure.

Okay, I lied. I didn’t fall asleep. It was beautiful and I have my black-colored glossy program notes so I can listen to the pieces at home.

Please feel free to read more here.

rosie’s stocking – finished!

November 30, 2014

xmas stocking for rosie

As promoted, here’s the final final of my surrogate knit project – a puppy’s xmas stocking that looks a bit like a puppy? It has found a new home and I probably won’t knit another one until next year – if ever. You may note that all the purl stitches are created with a Norwegian technique – thus making this piece uniquely individual. Despite all the growing pains I’m happy how everything turned out. Hope Rosie will be too. 🎁🐶 Wishing you a wonderful holiday season ~

knitted pillbox hat

November 3, 2014

Eugen oh Eugen – if only you had thought first before carrying out that Bobrikov assassination — wearing a shapka or a ushanka might have kept you warm AND incognito <sigh>. Fast fwd 80 years and I should have worn one during the class trip to Leningrad ~ it was cold war, after all. Well, better late than never, as they say. I hate to brag but this is bleep bleep awesome – maybe one of my best creations thus far, or what do you think?? Definitely sporting one this winter when catching a reindeer sleigh to opera. I could even embellish it with one of those raccoon tails, perhaps?

P.S. No rodents were harmed to knit my pillbox hat.

thor & vladimir

November 1, 2014

Just read that the scientists have discovered two genes linked to violence (MAOA and CDH13 – catchy names?). Since the combination of the two may somehow be activated when alcohol enters the picture (I read Molecular Psychiatry for FUN), it is time for us knitters to do some soul searching… Do you knit & drink? If yes, do you start showing signs of aggression? And do you own a gun? If you answered triple-3x-yes, you probably instinctively know what to do next. Toss those sharp pointed metallic knitting needles aside and switch to the ones made out of wood!!!!

(my PR friends/colleagues used to complain about the rude Europeans with their excessive use of exclamation points. These days I don’t effin care.)

Too obvious? True, I’m still on the topic of homeland and its paper industry. Except that I’ve decided to take a step back and go straight to the source – wood. Ohoy Suomi – there might be a huge untapped market for beautiful birchy knitting needles around the world! HTH ~ haapa, tammi, hoopo ~ you don’t even need to act like an axe murderer to clear a path for yourself in those dense forests. Why limit the usage to whipping sauna sessions? And if birch is not an option, there’s also oak, aspen, spruce, pine, … only the eastern border is the limit.

Here’s a pic of my fave wooden knitting needles photo-editorially placed on top of a stump – perhaps you would have had a more original idea. I bought them from a nice lady at the Upper West Side Sunday flea market. She is prob still there. xo

white wooden knitting needles - pretty!

white wooden knitting needles – pretty!

reusable paper bag

October 17, 2014

Ok, I’ll try to keep this short. Finland – close to recession. Again. Now that our apple-in-the-eye has been sold to the West and we are no longer allowed to export 30% artery-clogging dairy products to the East (thought we were on the same side?), what’s a babushka to do? Guess it’s back to fur trade and pickling. And kahvinkorvike. OR interpret the prime minister’s misinterpreted comments as an invitation to reinvigorate the paper trade. * *

Yes, it’s time to look for new ways to reuse our trees. Erase the thoughts about 80ies acid rains and grumpy engineers’ complaints about sensitive Deutsche Hausfrauen who said that trees cried when they were cut. Bygones! Bring that tree down and pack it in cellophane so I can use it in my crafty creations. Chop chop!

For us knitters, there’s paper yarn. Yes, I crocheted that bag and yes, I have way too much extra time in my hands. Paper yarn is not easily available here in the US so I smuggled it straight from Taiga through the JFK customs (easy! Just choose the line that says “green”).

Unfortunately knitting with paper yarn can sometimes hurt your chubby little fingers. The trick is to dump it in water i.e. to make it wet. Not soaking wet — damp. This may sound a touch complicated but trust me, it’s all worth it in the end – I have reused my paper bag over and over again. It’s also perfect for collecting pine cones and bark for all kinds of fall craft activities.

* * Stubbed?

#STITCHESEast, alibaba, alpaca, yak!

October 7, 2014

If you got all excited about the Alibaba IPO and went ahead and ordered one of their many $10 chunky, slouchy, batwing, poncho, cape, capelet, cardigan, sweaters (Ali B excels at keyword tagging) from their Ali/retail outlet, you probably realized that a) – you are a size giant XXXXL as opposed to the S/M you were in previous life, and b) the item ordered, even if the right size, doesn’t look anything like the picture!! FOB CIF Chengdu, GOH??? Darn their petite manga-barbie models (please note the toned-down ref to the approx location of the aforementioned web outlet because, wait, that didn’t sound right. Never mind).

For those of us who’d rather sport their own unique creations than study Incoterms, there’s always a knitting event right around the corner. Quick Altavista and – avot! – Stitches East  is taking place in exciting Hartford, CT *this* weekend. GO(H)!! I don’t care if you are a do-the-math or spell-it-out type, register for a few continental knitting lessons and soon you’ll be blogging on steroids with the rest of us. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it but only because my yarn boudoir is spilling over and I should really be knitting for our upcoming holiday bazaar as opposed to procrastinating here as we speak…

P.S. According to my latest research, all the alternative yarns are soon trending at upcoming knit events – soy, corn, bamboo, flax, hemp. In addition to being environmentally friendly (as opposed to cotton, for example), they may be suitable for those of you suffering from allergies. And they look better and feel a lot softer than the acrylics, polyesters and nylons shipped from China. BTW, it is environmentally friendly only if you remember to match your location with your local fiber, no? Those of us in the northern hemispheres are still better off and WARMER with traditional wool from sheep — or alpaca if you are more progressive. Yak?? Wow, you’ve traveled far but sure, why not.

GOH = Garment on hanger

oxymom knitted cold-weather yoga gear

September 16, 2014

Hello boys and girls. We are on the same page if you’ve noticed that the seasons — they are a-changin. Fall is upon us, kids are back to being institutionalized and soon it may be time to transition your yoga repertoire inside. Unless you are feeling low… — then I’d suggest you stay outside and feel the natural light on your retina and fresh air in your lungs*. And if you – like me – have gained 10lb sitting at your laptop, blogging with no purpose, you’ll be pleased to know that shivering does count as exercise — and it has been scientifically proven, too!

Today’s ayurvedic vata tip on how to embrace coldness: switching cooling green tea for ginger, and doing a selfie-massage with sesame body oil after shower will make you feel warmer. It is true! And a bit of orange oil in your aromatherapy tea light diffuser is sure to lift the spirits, too.

Happy autumn everyone.

* No meds, google glasses or Apple smart watches needed (6 or 6+?? I’ll prob be the first one to sport the watch despite being concerned about electromagnetics. And did you see the Daily Show piece on glass explorers? LOL.)

P.S. As requested by my friend, Mona ~ Whether you are a bony-butt needing extra warmth or a voluptuous vixen wanting to de-lard around the derriere, pictured please find a few knitted sports items perfect for your next hot yoga class. :)


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