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.