Saturday, February 25, 2006

(Begun back in February, actually posted on March 8.)

As freezing winds howl across the pond and over the blueberry barrens, so does this poor little blog languish once again.

a room with a view

I decided to pass on the Knitting Olympics, opting instead for the position of Encouraging Audience. They needed to have someone in the stands, didn't they? Otherwise the cameras would've had nowhere to shoot while the curling team stood in seemingly endless consultation on the ice.

The knitting muse and I established a cardinal rule very early on in our relationship together. She promised to stay close by if I promised not to overdo it. You know, by, say, committing to knit an entire laceweight queen-sized bedspread in two weeks.

I broke the rule only once when I took two days off work to submerge myself in my first Stitches West back in the early '90s. I couldn't knit for almost a year without feeling vaguely ill. So I take this unspoken contract extremely seriously—especially now, since the muse is also my livelihood.

On the private needles I've been knuckle-deep in fingerless gloves lately. (Yes, I realize this fad came and went about a year ago but what can I say. I reached the party a little late.) You get all the pleasure of instant gratification and basic avoidance of frostbite! What a bonus.

Because although the daffodils are already starting to pop up in other parts of the country, it's still wintah here in Maine. And this weekend I head to the mountains of Vermont for Tara Jon-Manning's Mindful Knitting Retreat, where even more cold weather is sure to keep us cozily tucked indoors by a fire.

Last weekend I went down to New Jersey for a family wedding reception and popped by the Woolly Lamb for a visit. Years ago I praised this fantastic new store for its charm, vast inventory, and off-the-bland-suburban-New-Jersey-main-drag location in the old center of town.

Well, this month it left its charming location to set up in a bland suburban strip mall on the main drag. With dropped ceilings, fluorescent lights, and a large blank rectangular interior. But ample parking since, heaven forbid, people didn't want to walk more than a block to get to the store.

They may still have the best cashmere selection I've ever seen, but the charm and spirit have been lost. Why do we seem bent on repeating this again and again?

But in the world of cultural success, be sure to add Mad Hot Ballroom to your Netflix queue. A very sweet tale in which the good guys prevail.


Theresa said...

I miss wintah in maine (yes, I AM crazy, thankyouverymuch) something about snow on the ground from October to April makes you appreciate the warm months that much more.

I was with you in teh stand cheering the others on in the Knittin Olympics. The muse and I haven't been on good terms lately, and I figured tempting her to such feats would really be pushing the relationship to the breaking point. She has rewarded me this week with bouts of lovely creativity, so for that I am happy. That muse is a fickle friend sometimes, so you are wise to stay on her good side ;)

Clara said...

Hey Theresa! I'm glad to know the muse is being good to you. I'll bottle up some virtual snow and send it your way...

Beth said...

It was so nice to look up from my lace event periodically and see your smiling face in the stands cheering me on - thanks much for the support!!!

Jane said...

Hey there, Clara! I really appreciated your encouragement from the sidelines -- it was fun, but I'm still suffering post-Olympic traumatic stress from all that knittin'.

Too bad about the shop; I always assume that these things happen because of rent increases (we now have a mortgage broker next door here at the bookstore -- ugh!)

Clara said...

Beautiful lace, Beth! And Jane, I was so proud to see your finished sweater. You and your fellow olympians were a great source of inspiration.

Amie said...

See, they figure once the great and powerful Clara has praised them, they need try no more. It's all your fault.

Or they're lazy schmucks who got in on the trend and didn't really know how to run a business at all and just lucked out in the beginning. You pick.

I'm making fingerless gloves now, too, can we be way behind the trend together?


Martha said...

So cool to see a post from you - whenever it is you write it, it is cool to see!
Interesting that you would mention fingerless gloves as I have been jonesing to make some. Just today I was daydreaming about the projects I want to do & tho't about them.
All my life, I have been a late bloomer - why should my knitting projects be any different?
The good news is I bloom - just way later than many people my age ^..^

Bess said...

Another fingerless glover here. and going so slow you'd think they were Dale of Norway fingerless gloves. Bloom? Bloom? I thought we were all rocks and just collected lichens for excitement.

Lawsee gal - I sure do miss you.

Clara said...

Well well well! I hereby declare a fingerless mitt renaissance! Of course Bess, your comment about Dale of Norway fingerless gloves intrigues me. That's about the only Dale project I could envision completing this decade...

Amie said...

New month... new post????

C'mon, we know you're just sitting around reading mysteries, eating bon bons, spinning qiviut and knitting cashmere. It's not like you have anything to do other than update your blog....