Friday, February 29, 2008

Lookie Ma, Press Passes

We Felt Very Important
Originally uploaded by mikewade
How lucky are Stephen (hizknits) and I?

We went to Stitches West in Santa Clara, CA.
We got Press Credentials.
We interviewed a host of Knitting Gurus and Gentlefolk.
We (okay, just me) purchased a LOT of fiber
We made some amazing new friends.
We were completely overwhelmed.

Something bad had to happen right? It was going along all soooooo smoothly. Well, it was bad indeed.

A bit of backtracking is necessary. Stephen and I thought it would be fun to get a few interviews at Stitches West. We'll try to meet Lucy Neatby, we'll see if XRX will let us speak to men teachers and students and maybe walk around the market. We'll purchase a few things so that we're not completely deprived of swag.

Little did we know how receptive everyone would be to our requests. XRX gave us the royal treatment (no comments from the peanut gallery). Lisa Mannes, marketing manager for XRX arranged for our press passes and essentially coordinated a host of interviews and gave us carte blanche to speak with folks at the market. Our first interview was with Rick Mondragon, fearless leader of Stitches and Editor in Chief of Knitter's Magazine.

The opening night preview, I helped Article Pract set up their booth (very small amount of help, mind you) and then I walked around and got lots of great audio from my guy knitters. I bought some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Mill Ends. I was doing GOOD!

The next day we got loads of interviews, including the fabulous Lucy Neatby, Vickie Howell, Kristine from a Verb for Keeping Warm, Brooke and Maia from Tactile Fiber Arts Studio, Eugene Bourgeois from Philosopher's Wool and two wonderful lace knitters, Eugene and Lew. We even met our podcast idols, Jenny and Nicole from Stash and Burn as well as rockstar Rachel (Yarn a Go Go) and wonderful Wendee from Hazel Knits.

Then, it starts to become a bit blurry. I'm operating on less and less sleep AND the drive to Santa Clara from Berkeley is starting to make me cuckoo. So cuckoo in fact, that I don't realize when I'm recording the AWESOME interview with Jess and Casey from Ravelry, I'm actually recording OVER the interview with Vickie, Eugene and some sweet guy knitters on the market floor.

I didn't realize that we had lost audio until Sunday night when we starting digitizing the raw files and, believe me, when I say that I was overcome with illness. It's so heart-wrenching to know that you had a unique opportunity to speak with someone AND got great audio. But, we're in the process of contacting those folks and we hope to make it up at some point in the future. And, we've got a better system in place for ensuring Audio Integrity. So, good learnings but painful, painful ones.

We're working on organizing the bits and bobs and we've got some great shows coming up. I'll announce when the next show goes up on Yknit and iTunes.

Take care.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Magical Mystery Knitting Tour

Teacher, Guru and Students

Hosted at the new KnitOneOne studios in South Berkeley, you will be lead on a wonderful journey by knitting guru, Kate Freeman. What are you knitting? That's the mystery. If you're interested, there are still spaces. Sign up here!

We're Here, We're Queer, We're Fiber Freaks

Gay Bay Meetup @ Cafe Gratitude (2/18/08)

The first meeting of the East Bay Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Stitch 'N Bitch (hereafter referred to as the EBLGBTSnB) may now come to order. We had a lovely turnout at Cafe Gratitude (the one in Berkeley) after my research on possible locations and coordinating on Ravelry. We had 17 folks in attendance in spite of an icky cold and rainy night. Pretty good for a start.

The space was nice and big, but the lighting was less than ideal and several folks had issues with the food and the cost of said food. Personally, I thought the whole experience was lovely and I would highly recommend you give Cafe Gratitude a try. Now, I'm not saying that you'll love everything on the menu. Who would? But, most of the desserts are lovely and the milkshakes are to die for.

Sadly, we probably won't return to the Cafe, but it was a wonderful kickoff to what I hope are many, many more. Here is a link to the entire Flickr photoset.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yknit Episode 2 is Up

Yknit Episode 2 is Up
Originally uploaded by mikewade
We just posted our second episode of the Yknit podcast. Our guest is Sabrina Gschwandtner who came to Berkeley for a book signing with KnitKnit, a new book profiling artists who use knitting in their respective media.

Please visit the blog and leave us a comment. You can also enter a contest to receive a free copy of KnitKnit, Issue 7 (the cool indie 'zine, not the gorgeous hard cover book). Tell us what you think about the art versus craft debate.

Stephen and I are going to be at Stitches West 2008 this weekend (2/21-2/24). We're conducting interviews, working and, of course, shopping. Well, I am. Stephen claims to be on a yarn diet. Wuss. If you see us there, please come up and say hello. I'll be working at the Article Pract booth and buying everything at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We Have Ignition... We Have Liftoff

All the rumors are true. Stephen (hiznknits) and I have been working with an amazing producer and musician (who I share a life with) to launch our knitting podcast, Yknit. It's all about fiber, knitting, design and anything else stitch-related we obsess about.

Our first interview is with legendary, Debbie Stoller, on the occasion of her book signing for "Son of Stitch 'N Bitch". Give us a listen and let us know what you think!


The First Yknit Podcast

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Watch The Spinning Wheel Turn

You might not have heard, but KnitOneOne has moved to a lovely new studio in South Berkeley, near Sweet Adeline's Bakeshop. The new location is very open and bright and ideal for classes. There are hardwood floors and a generous skylight that make the room very warm and inviting. At the moment, it's a bit echo-ey, but I'm sure that will be taking care of once more yarn and furniture are brought in.

I was very excited to be one of the first classes to take place in the new studio. And I had heard wonderful things about Brooke and Maia from Tactile Fibers.

This was my second attempt at drop spindling as I didn't feel like my first instruction was enough to explore all the different techniques, nor was it enough to get decent feedback form experienced spinners. Brooke is an excellent instructor in this respect and I would recommend taking a class with her if you're so inclined.

I'm still somewhat on the fence as to whether I'm going to dive in to spinning but it's nice to understand the principles of yarn formation since it's such a big part of knitting. My only issue is that it's a pretty big investment to get a nice wheel, then I'd have less time for knitting which is already an issue for me. It doesn't help that I have severe startitis and pretty much a racoon's sensibility when it comes to new fiber and books.

I'm sure I'll find the right balance with my spinning and probably keep it in mind for small projects like booties, hats and, if I'm feeling adventurous, socks!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Where's the Hamburglar?

Originally uploaded by mikewade
Yes, I'm Grimace(Y), but what else is new? Does anyone get that McDonald's reference? Hmmm. Yeah, I bet you all too young to even know what that is. Gawd, I feel old, in spite of having the mouth hardware of a 13 year old.

The first post of 2008. Yes, yes, I know that I've been horrible about blogging. If intention and incompleted posts count, I'd have you all caught up with my life, but every time I start up writing, I get bored and have to trash it. At first, I wanted to do a New Year's Resolution list, but I never do them, so it would be a list of things I haven't accomplished. And will all the competition for my time, I didn't want to make myself feel guilty for yet another unfulfilled personal obligation.

I'm going to reflect a bit on 2007 and why 2008 is going to be so much sweeter.

January of 2007 started off with a trip to the emergency room with Anto. I thought he had had another stroke (albeit much, much milder) and I was worried that if I didn't act quick, we'd be very sorry. The reason we went was due to some pretty severe cognitive processing difficulty. It just wasn't like him to be forgetful and confused all the time.

We eventually discovered that it was a combination of meds he was taking for spasticity and high blood pressure, but man, I really thought that it was the beginning of alzheimer's or dementia. It was pretty friggin' scary and I started to lose my shit. Fortunately, we started up some decent physical therapy in Vallejo with the folks at Kaiser and began the long road to recovery.

I attended Stitches West for the first time last year and it was AWESOME. It was also bank breaking and too much to digest in one weekend. I've since learned that it's best to go to Stitches with a certain amount of cash and once you've spent it, you stop. At least that should work in theory. We shall see as Stitches West 2008 is coming up at the end of this month. In addition, I'm not taking any classes this year. I had thought of taking sock classes from Cat Bordhi and Lucy Neatby, but my hesitation (and worrying about finances) meant that the classes were full up before I had a chance to enroll. Oh well, it was meant to be. Plus, I can feel a bit better about putting my current knowledge, DVDs and books to work.

Last year also saw the reunion of two former acquaintances who didn't previously knit but now do so obsessively. The maniac I'm speaking of is none other than Stephen/Hiznknits and I'm so happy that this boy is in my life. He's funny, he's smart, he's irreverent and he's a kick ass knitter. He also has the cutest dog and a cuter partner. What more could I ask for in a knitting buddy? Well, I was about to find out....

During my SURPRISE 40TH Birthday party, I was given an awesome felting jellyfish project. It was created by Kate, Tammy, Elaine and Stephen and they are now my knitting posse. I'm so lucky to have these wonderful knitting obsessed friends in my universe. They make me laugh, make me think and, most importantly make me knit.

It was the infusion of coolness and originality to my knitting world, that inspired my upcoming foray into the world of podcasting. There, I said it. I can't take it back. Stephen and I have done a couple of interviews with some pretty cool people and we've been working with our Executive Producer, Anto, to get it ready for public consumption. More on that in the near future.

All right, that's me for now, I'll be a bit more regular in 2008. That's a promise to Victor, Karen and Stephen.