Tuesday, April 12, 2016

and another note re: my day job....

....and let me note briefly, though it's not a minor deal to me, that I have been promoted to Full Professor -- in the wake of Cambridge's publication of new book, but of course it has to do with decades of work, so the book was icing on the cake, so to speak.  That's it.   This blog is supposed to be about both parts of life.   To celebrate, Larry and I took to the road (!) and bought an enormous pizza at Antonio's in Farmington Hills.  (Well, we were on the road for maybe ten minutes).   Before that, by the way, we had gone into Cortina's in Farmington which Larry had seen as he drove down 11 Mile Road.....  We should have asked to see a menu, which they didn't produce until AFTER they served us water and a basket of so-so bread.   A plate of spaghetti with a very fancy name was 54.00 -- appetizers started at 20 dollars.   We simply walked out (5 bucks on the table).   What a damned outrage.  Antonio's is great, complete with kitschy pseudo-Italian art and a really really really wonderful staff.   Huzzah to me.   It's been a long, trying, wonderful life.    svb

PS  Don't miss the long KNIVES the women are wielding..........these are cannery workers.  You don't mess with 'em.

Gender Remade

Sunday, April 10, 2016

the shop!

....and here is the new view from the front of Artisan Knitworks -- new display units coming in steadily -- Here we have a gorgeous new shawlette in Rylie from Hikoo -- a truly delicious blend of linen and some other lightweight fibers -- silky in the extreme -- The sample was done up by the wonderful Jennifer Stover (Missouri).  And then behind, barely visible, an entire wall full of Prism, Laura Bryant's hand-painted wonders......plus some Prism hand-dyed cottons in a basket on the floor -- and a big load of Trendsetter and Lana Grossa yarns in the trays....on and on.   I don't think there is any shortage of touchable beauty here.   Once we get the new fixtures in place, we'll have LOTS more room for yarn than we have now.  Stay tuned!!!  


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Back again....with thoughts about yarn stashing

....back again, thanks to Larry who figured out how to 'find' the blogger home page.   I used to enter all of this by means of Explorer -- but it mysteriously disappeared, leaving me helpless (no entry, no blog).   But.   Larry is a computer nerd.   Here I am!!!!
.....also today, I had a brief exchange with my cousin Renie, once Renie Hoffoss, now Renie Wilson, who lives in Missouri (we began life in Minnesota).  She is apparently a yarn fanatic -- and of course I own a yarn shop, so it's a match made in heaven.....
When Renie said something about how her yarn collection had become too too too, I was reminded all over again of the hundreds of women (almost entirely women) who continually apologize for their yarn stashes -- even if it's only a boxful, or closet, or chest of drawers.  I hear things like this:  
"Well, I just put it in the trunk under some bags so he doesn't know it's there, and then I bring it into the house a skein at a time,"  or   "You know, I just can't buy any more yarn -- I'm ashamed of myself for not doing something with it," or   "It's a sickness, all that yarn."    And I think, every time, how women are the ones who apologize for buying lots and lots of things they truly love.
Here are some of the things in my life that wonderful men have never apologized for:
My father's endless supply of screwdrivers, drill bits, hammers, and table saw blades.
My first husband's expensive and seemingly endless fountain pen collection.
My first husband's and my book collection.
My grandfather's hand-tied fish fly collection.
Do I have to continue?   When was the last time you have ever heard a man characterize his most loved things as evidence of neurosis, or as something to hide, or as something to smuggle into the house so nobody would know he had it?
At this point, I need to say that Renie and probably many others have in mind the cost (it's a tight economy) or simply find the whole thing amusing.  Piles of wool under the bed!
But, still, for hundreds and hundreds of women, it's evidence of neurosis.  And that's worrisome.  What can possibly be neurotic or shameful about loving something that's incredibly beautiful, tactile, and useful, all at once?   Why not revel in it?  Stamp collectors do.  It wasn't necessary for my father to DO something with each and every drill bit.  It was surely enough for husband number one to HAVE the thousands of expensive books all lined up on shelves so that he could finger them and (this is important) show them off, not hide them in closets.  
Yarn, woolen roving, all of the beautiful things so generously given to us by animal friends, are gifts from artisans -- to be enjoyed, shown off, used eventually to make beautiful and useful objects -- or not.   It's enough to have them, to squeeze and revel in them.
I'd like to live long enough to see the day when yarn literally could come out of the closet.  It is life-giving to collect yarn.  Arguably it's more life-giving than collecting screwdrivers.