Category Archives: environmental

A stitch in time… and other gangsta aphorisms

I broke my glasses.

Walk around with a screw loose long enough and eventually you’re gonna snap.  So what of Thomas Jefferson’s good advice? I blatantly ignored it in favor of Garfield The Cat (“Never put off the work till tomorrow what you can put off today”). Yeah, I knew it was coming and I did nothing to prevent it. And now I have to try and MacGyver them to stay on my face and hope they can be fixed. I look like an idiot. Dumb. Glasses held together by a paper clip is  pushing me closer to old maid than Old Made and it’s teetering on the edge of Grey Gardens (Oh Eeeedie!). I gotta get it together so I can stay in the game.

Hopefully my frames can be repaired but either way, I’m gonna need new glasses. I am going to be proactive. A while back I mentioned Lisa Loeb’s Eyewear line and really was hoping to try a pair. But, unbelievably I can’t seem to find them in NYC. Because I have to wear my glasses every day I am reluctant to purchase online without trying them on. That’s too blind of a commitment for me.

Have you heard of Warby Parker? I saw a feature on them a while back. A couple of cute, socially conscious, glasses wearing boys started this company that is really quite something. I won’t go into it here (learn more here), but I’m pretty positive I will be buying from them. And here’s why.

Warby Parkers“virtual try on”.  From what I can tell, I kind of love these. As soon as I get the actual frames in the mail I’ll post pics. Curious to see how accurate this is.

You can try them on! I’m sure it’s not perfect, but their “virtual try on” is pretty darn good and really, really fun to play with. I’ve also signed up for their “home try on”  service. You choose 5 frames and they ship them to you (free!) and you send them back after 5 days (free!). So awesome to be able to live with them for a bit to decide if they are actually gonna work. The frames are super cute and they’re only $95 including the lenses! Oh, and they donate glasses to people in need…

Man, I really hope my glasses will hold together until I can order a pair of these. You were right, Jefferson. It was a mistake to wait so long. Now I may be up a creek and am totally kicking myself for my carelessness. I will move fixing glasses to the top of my list of stuff I shoulda taken care of (and tackle the rest tomorrow?).

It’s been a shite week and really, the only refuge is knitting. And even that has the potential to make me sick. A lap full of hot wool in 100 degree weather, dropped stitches, broken sock needles–Awww, HELLLL NO!

Yep. I got 99 problems BUT, a stitch ain’t one. Listen, it’s rough comin’ up on the streets of Queens (yes, even FoHi). Especially if you’re a knitter with Malabrigo taste, a Red Heart budget, no job and broken glasses. Sometimes you gotta hustle a little to stay in the game.

I don’t remember where I first saw this idea, but it’s a good little trick to improve your flow and catch/prevent any major flubs before they become a big pain (like having broken glasses-ugh I’m so mad). Like EZ says, “Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either”. Check it.

Stackin scrilla. Save some green by recycling your straws to use as
stitch markers. Pattern is 
Coveside by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.

My favorite straws to use are the big green ones from Starbucks, especially if you’re using a fairly large needle. I have a few from a grande iced americano to mark an eyelet panel in a vest I’m making on US size 10 needles (above). The green is a great contrasting color making them easy to see and that much harder to overlook. I am constantly losing markers and  have taken to using straws pretty much exclusively. I just trim a few rings off as needed like clipping herbs from a garden.

Find a size that is close-ish to your needle size. It’s surprising how many different kinds of straws there are. Once you are aware it, you can score just about any size you need.  The 99¢ store is a good place to look too if you’re not gansta enough to swipe an extra straw or two with you frappucino. You can usually get a big box with lots of colors. I think I’ll make some more now to keep in my notions bag so I am prepared when the time comes. Another life lesson learned through knitting. Word.

WARNING explicit lyrics. Seriously Emily, a warning?
I know some of you read this with kids, so…

Update: Much ado about nothing…
Crisis averted. Glasses we’re repaired, free of charge by my friendly neighborhood optical shop, Station Square Eyes on 71st Continental, just off Queens Blvd. All’s well that ends well.



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Filed under environmental, handmade, Knitting, made, NYC

The News That’s Fit To Print

I love the routine of  Sunday morning. Coffee, knitting, public radio. I love a Sunday morning that runs according to schedule and the ritual is not complete without a lazy flip through The New York Times. Nearly every Sunday I walk over to the bodega to get a copy. A decadent little treat I look forward to all week.  But, there are days when the ritual is preempted by the occasional brunch or inclement weather. It’s hot, muggy and pouring rain this morning. It’s gross, I have the air on and I’m pretty content pretending it’s Fall. I’m afraid that even the Sunday Style Section can’t coax the needles out of my hands long enough to run to the store. Besides, once I’m outside, the illusion will be ruined. Nope. I’m staying in for now. I’ll have to make do with an online read. Which is fine, but not the same. If it were, I probably wouldn’t be so drawn to this.

New York Times scented candle by Tobias Wong  via Co. Design “A sweet mix of cedar, pulp and other vaguely homey aromas…” 
Read about The Mysteries of Tobias Wong on The Times here.

Are papers really going away? I don’t know. I hope not. Let’s see what Ricky thinks. Ricky…

Ricky Gervais…Obvioiusly

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Happy WWKIP Day!

We’re in for a very crafty weekend! Lots going on here in beautiful NYC.  I”m headed out to Brooklyn to enjoy the break in the heat, amble around The Renegade Craft Fair (Hooray!) and of course, some public knitting. If you can’t make it to NYC in the next few hours, I’ll be posting pics from my adventures in craftland.

Everyone, keep an eye open for unexpected pops of color in cities all over. Something tells me there’s going to be a lot of this around town.

And to my fellow knitters, hope to see you all out… IN PUBLIC!

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Filed under design, environmental, Graphic Design, handmade, Knitting, made, NYC

If You Had To

You know when you have something big to tackle and you have no clue where or how to start? I feel like that with round two of a project I am working on. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, or that’s it unpleasant. Figuring out where on earth to start, that’s the problem.

In short: Create a symbol in the environment with found objects

Imagine that–to make anything, anywhere out of anything! I’ve been trying all kinds of things to jump start ideas. An assignment like this that has so few requirements is was overwhelming. It left  me staring blank at piles of trash on the street  for inspiration. I decided I needed to make my own rules, some parameters to work in that would make the task a bit less daunting. So, walking home I played one of my favorite games. I call it If  You Had To. I play it all the time.

Here’s how it works:

Fancy Dress

  1. Pick a spot. I chose a particularly fancy clothing store near my apartment.
  2. If you had to pick one, would it be?

It’s a silly little game, but it’s fun and forces you to make a choice. I applied this technique to my assignment. After hours of wandering around waiting for the perfect item of refuse to appear on the street, I eventually just chose a spot and grabbed what was there. The result, nothing special.

But then, it all came together. When the assignment became less about the thing and more about the making, the “thing” totally changed. It was doing something independant of meaning.  I won’t go into what the symbol is suppossed to “be”. It doesn’t really matter (the piece is riddled with meaning I’ll have you know). But, it was so amazing to see how people we’re interacting with it. I think it’s because it was clearly a “made” thing. It was all right there in the initial assignment requirements. It was just a matter of getting there. Not a new concept, but really great when you get to see it in practice with something you’ve made. Neat.

“..humans cannot truly be human and cannot truly know the world around them, without connecting to the fundamental process of making.”–The Journal of Modern Craft, Volume 1–Issue 1

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