Wednesday, January 18, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

Halfway through January, we seem to have been embraced by a collection of grey rainy days.  It's good to find strategies to uplift our spirits.

I actually prefer a light snowfall to a lingering span of rainy days.


Coping strategies can involve homemade soups, sampling various teas from an elegant tea chest Christmas gift, reading, and knitting.


Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my first Vogue Knitting Magazine Live event.  My own pre-retirement work schedules had prevented my attending these events in prior years.  The magazine sponsors such events in various parts of this country, so they are not just for New York area knitters.  

It was quite interesting to have a look at the various stands and see lots of beautiful yarns, and lots of very enthusiastic knitters.  The Shetland Wool Week stand was my absolute favorite.  Do click on the link in the prior sentence to find out more about that Week.  How I would love to visit Shetland this fall!  



Another treat was being able to tour the Vogue Knitting Magazine event along with a lovely lady visiting from California.  Many of you all might be familiar with lori times five's Instagram page?  If not, click on that link to acquaint yourself with a special person.


Because I reminded myself of just how much yarn I already had at home, I was able to resist making any purchases, but will share a couple of photographs I took.


Yesterday, my friend Elizabeth and I took a walk through rainy Central Park, over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to see a few exhibits and have lunch.  It was interesting to discover some unusual decorations around the Museum's Great Hall and grand staircase.


Although we were not permitted to walk upon it. a very large, floral patterned carpet had been laid upon those stairs.  Around the Great Hall could be glimpsed large hedges of faux boxwood.  The information desk was being transformed into a pergola.


When I asked a security guard if a party was taking place later, I was told that the special decorations were for filming that would be taking place.  He was not able to divulge the identity of the film.  I'll see if more information becomes available as time goes on.

It was pleasant to see the spring flowers blooming on the carpet, but we eventually retrieved our coats and umbrellas, left the Met and walked a little ways down Fifth Avenue, until Elizabeth boarded a downtown bus, and I walked back home across the Park.


Even on a sort of gloomy day, there was still much to attract my eyes.


Bare branches are like delicate ink drawings.  The well worn sidewalk patterns could inspire lots of knitting.


There were some touches of green to be seen, and I also saw some rather spindly-looking snowdrops over in the Strawberry Fields area.


Elizabeth and I saw none of the usual crowds either in the Park or in the Met.


Back home, warmer and drier, I took a few more photographs of the scarf I've recently completed.  I thought of it as a sort of sampler of various fair isle motifs scattered over a neutral background.  The motifs were knit from wool; the background yarn is a blend of wool, linen and alpaca.


Another view.


And another.


And, just for fun, here's that scarf again, along with the socks I'm now working on, spread across my knitted patchwork blanket, made many years ago, but oh so welcome during the winter months.


Somehow I like the look of the mish mosh of colors and patterns.

There is a lot going on this week, besides what I've reported here.  I elected to keep this a low key mid-January city view.  Thanks to you all for your visits and comments on my New Year's post.  Whether or not those black-eyed peas are giving me extra good luck, I feel very fortunate to be part of a warm blogging community.

43 comments:

  1. Oh Frances, that amazing carpet!! I am sure it must be for a regal/princess film, do you think?
    I do like your comparison between the knitting and a sampler. There is such a similarity. Lovely colours too.

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    1. Elizabeth, it was the immense size of the carpet that caught my eye. The Met's collections of Persian carpets include some that are probably even larger, but this was quite amazing. It was also funny to watch many museum visitors who seemed to pay it no mind. Thank you very much for your kind words about my new scarf. xo to you and yours.

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  2. I love sharing your wintry views of the city - but I must say that my favorite pictures are of your scarf of gorgeous colors and patterns. What a great idea to make a scarf "sampler." The colors bring it all together.

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    1. Thank you very much for your visit and comment. It was fun to knit this scarf, keeping the notion of its being akin to when I draw in my sketchbook. Hoping you will visit and comment again in the New Year.

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  3. Oh that carpet....how beautiful and yet I really prefer your scarf in it's stunning colours and patterns.
    Hugs from The UK-x-

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    1. Oh Sheila, what a lovely comment! Hoping that your 2017 is having a fine start. I've seen photographs from UK buddies that show you all have got some lovely January flowers beginning to appear. xo

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  4. The colors and designs in your scarf are delightful. almost makes me miss cold weather. No, not really - but it is a pleasure to take a wander with you! Cheers.

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    1. Wilma, I'll bet that you still keep an eye out for the weather reports from your former location upstate...as you enjoy a much milder winter.
      Thanks so much for your comment.
      Did you perhaps see my mention of your posts in a comment over at Derek's?
      I'm looking forward to following your Belize posts throughout this new year and learning lots as I enjoy your photos and writing. xo

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  5. You are such a sweetheart Frances. Since I have forgotten how to knit, the sight of that scarf blows me away. How could you put such fine patterns in there? It is gorgeous. Love the ones you are working on too and the blanket, much like they did with crazy quilts. I love the snow picture with the red umbrella. That carpet up the stairs? Unbelievable. NYC must be the proverbial moveable feast. How could you ever not have something to do? Shetland Islands? That does sound interesting.

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    1. All you need to know in order to knit is how to get those initial loops secure on a knitting needle, and after that it's just loop over loop ...needle to needle, row by row. Adding an additional color of yarn to a row becomes a way to paint with yarn. Cables and other texture stitches, and lacy stuff demands a bit more concentrated attention...but Donna, none of it is difficult. If only we did live closer together, I could get your knitting skills reignited in an hour.
      But when would you then have time for Instagram!
      You are so right about NYC being a feast. The trick is to find a way to know which of its invitations to accept.
      Now Shetland...yes, sounds quite interesting. xo

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  6. I think your photographs are getting even more creative now you have the new smart phone.
    Those socks are very stylish! Perfect for stalling in the park.
    C xx

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    1. Thank you, Celia. I'm still thinking of the iPhone as my new toy and enjoying experimenting with it. With all the as yet unexplored features, I still have much to learn. The camera feature has me taking more photos than before.
      The yarn for the current sock knitting came from the online shop you introduced me to, Gnome Acres! xo

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  7. I enjoyed those photographs and a glimpse of New York life for the pair of you.
    Shall be thinking of you both tomorrow and hoping you can rise above it all.

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    1. Pat, I am so grateful that Elizabeth introduced me to your splendid posts. Wish that you could join us on one of our regular visits to the greenmarket...and the follow-up cafe visit. What fun that would be!
      I truly appreciate your wishes for tomorrow...and the next two years. xo

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  8. I have to say that I do find these grey January days difficult but I did manage to rouse myself enough yesterday to visit The Art Gallery of Ontario with a friend - they have a couple of special exhibits on at the moment and the lovely paintings certainly brightened the day. But that lovely carpet - it is just amazing!
    We are lucky to have a number of city parks here in Toronto with the largest being High Park - about half the size of Central Park and it is very close to me so I do try to get out there often.
    Your knitting is always so colourful! I am trying to learn to knit now and I'm slowly making progress on just the most simple of projects - I haven't been brave enough as yet to even add one extra colour - never mind the wonderful patterns you create!
    Here is the website to High Park http://www.highpark.org


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    1. Thank you for your comment. I like learning more about Toronto. When i was in the retail world, I met many visitors from Toronto, some of whom visited NewYork at least once a year.

      I'll have a look at the High Park link. It's impossible to think of a NYC without a Central Park.

      Do keep on with the knitting. I learned knitting from my great auntie, while I was a girl. The yarn I first used was a 6 stitches to the inch yarn that was comfortable for me to use to get the desired even tension gauge. Now I like a finer yarn to manipulate the colors more subtly, but have also used much heavier weight yarns for "faster" results.

      Please do visit again.

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  9. Frances, It would be an absolute crime to walk on that carpet without spotless shoe bottoms... even then, I would hesitate. It's crazy, but whenever I purchase a new rug, I only wear socks whenever stepping on it.... for weeks. Loved the Knitting affair, even though I'm not a knitter, fibers are so beautiful, soft and comforting that just being around them feels nice. Your knitting is such a treat, your choice of colors and designs so perfect.

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    1. Jeri, I don't think that your wearing socks only, when walking on your new carpeting is at all crazy. Makes great sense to me!
      The knitting event was fun in a sort "crazy" way. Some year I would like to attend one of the large knitting events that take place in various parts of the UK, or France.
      Thank you for those kind words about my knitting. xo

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  10. This morning it's minus 12 degrees here, and it was comforting to see your beautiful colored patterns and the photos of the dark branches against the grey sky. And those socks are amazing! What wonderful yarn. Enjoy your NYC adventures, Frances, and thank you for sharing them with us.

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    1. Oh my goodness, Carol! Minus 12 is way too chilly for me. I am sure you are an expert in coping with winter in your beautiful part of the country, but even so....
      One of the earlier commenters here, Celia Hart, was the one to initially told me about the online yarn site gnomeacres.com
      The site is very entertaining and the yarn colors and their names are very funny. Not just sock yarns. xo

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  11. you are obviously enjoying your retirement!I love the socks and the scarf.Beautiful colour combinations.

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    1. Yes, since retiring at the end of last March, my life has truly been enriched. New choices every day!

      Thank you for the compliments. Wishing you a great New Year. xo

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  12. You are enjoying the time.. very nice...

    Please visit: http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

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  13. That carpet looks like it should be background for a romantic movie or a musical. You are like a painter with your knitting, arranging your colors in glorious intricate patterns. I always like your color choices. Wool sounds good when there is snow outdoors. I do love your first photo, it could also be a painting.

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    1. Vagabonde, when I saw that carpet, thought much the same, which was great on such a rainy day.
      Playing with colors is what keeps me interested in knitting...along with the meditative state that can occur!
      I was so fortunate that the lady with the red umbrella walked past...just the right spot of color.
      Thanks so much for your visit and comment. xo

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  14. There is something qute magnificent about new york in winter!

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    1. I agree, John, and truly do like sharing some of what I see around the city. And...I think you know by now how much I enjoy visiting your blog site, and learning about a Welsh village I would not otherwise know at all.

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  15. Dear Frances, I love the yarn with which you are knitting those exotic looking socks.
    Your knitted patchwork blanket is a stunner. I want to come to your house and steal it from you.

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    1. Thank you, Gina! It's fun to knit socks every so often, just to remember the fun of turning the heel.
      That patchwork blanket was created over 15 years ago, as a project to use up lots of 4-ply yarn left over from various sweaters. None of the squares/rectangles are exactly alike, and crocheting them together was quite interesting, mixing up the colors and motifs. xo

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  16. Hello Frances I have so enjoyed reading this blog post. The caroet amazing, and the knitting quite inspirational. I have been knitting all my life but not done much in lots of colours. I'm just doing a hat (start small) and find it very interesting to see how the colours work together, but what a mess at the back!! I suppose practice makes perfect. Thank you for your inspiration June

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    1. June, thanks for visiting and commenting. I always remember that knitting is just loop over loop, and that folks have been creating marvelous items via knitting for many centuries.
      A tip for you when using two colors of yarn on a row is to sort of "capture" the loose/unused color's yarn strand after every two stitches. Those loose strands of yarn on the "back" of the item are called floats. Sometimes, it's good to try a swatch with your two colors and desired needle size to test out how to capture your floats. (Other knitting books and videos and local yarn shops might explain this better than I have.) Please visit again.

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    2. Thank you Frances I certainly will June

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  17. What a beautiful post Frances. Your Fair Isle knitting is a joy and I love the colours in your scarf. I confess I couldn't watch the TV today!

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    1. Dear Gina, I so appreciate your comment. I admit that I did watch tv through most of today, along with some online news. I wanted to witness this particular, scary historic day as it developed. Nothing I saw or heard today eased my fears.
      Trump's inaugural speech was just another version of his campaign pitch. Very dark.
      xo

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  18. Frances your knitting is so lovely, thanks for the links to intriguing places too. I already commented on your wondrous carpet! We shall all be guessing who will walk on it. I hope you are enjoying your creative persuits today of all days! X

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    1. Val, as I have just commented to Gina, it's been a tough day. I wonder how long it will take for DT's voters to have buyers' remorse.
      There is nothing about this man that I admire. Nothing.
      Knitting did help. I am already missing President Obama. xo

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  19. Beauty and the Beast filming? With our Emma Watson?

    Rachel

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    1. Might be...that would certainly suit the carpet design and the opulence of the Great Hall and that staircase.

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  20. I just love your pictures from NY! So far away from my calm countryside Frances...
    Thanks for sharing the city with us!
    Love Titti

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    1. Titti, I am so glad to have met up with you via blogging. We still have so many city/country stories to share. xo

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  21. Somehow I miss this blog... Even though I use oxygen at night my brain does not work right and I miss things. Sorry.
    What a wonderful post. The knitting is beyond wonderful but the black and white photos of the trees have caught my eye !
    Thank You for sharing your NY photos and life.

    cheers, parsnip

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