Archive for May, 2008

Bloke Back Mountain

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I’m back in the USA and, boy, was it swell to get away. A Berlin report is forthcoming, but let’s talk Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat at Easton Mountain.

Although only 2.5 days, it rivaled my week and a half abroad for fun. It has provided me with a heart-full of happy memories, a truckload of laughs and a big, old stash of new friends. I can’t imagine what it would be like if it was longer. Even if I described the location, the guys, the workshops, the meals, the laughing, and the yarn action, it wouldn’t capture (pardon the hippy word) magical experience.

Here are my photos:

Created with flickrSLiDR.

I’m at a loss for words, and late to the game, so go read what some of the the others have already said:

If we had one on the West Coast, would anyone be up for it? I’ve started researching locations… something in the fall perhaps?

from Kreuzberg

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Just lost a post because flickr isn’t playing nice right now.

Arives in Berlin. Luggage came a day later. Have seen contemporary art musem, wandered neighborhoods, bought sock yarn and eaten white spargel.

Alley ist gut.


Monday, May 19th, 2008

Just landed here in Munich (just an hour layover, Mrs. B and Elemm!) and am trying to get used to this keyboard (z and y are in what I perceive to be each other’s places).

My phone doesn’t seem to be able to find a network yet, so I don’t know if my texts to Chris got through… which is a bummer, as I was rebooked and will be landing in Berlin 2 hours earlier than aniticipated. Hooray for more time in Germany, but boo if it means waiting around and trying to piece together the meaning of words should I need to interact with anyone.

Not sure where there’s free wi-fi in Wilmersdorf near the apartment… watch this space to find out!

On the train to Berlin

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

I just pulled out of Albany, heading to NYC then Newark to fly across the Atlantic pond. The Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat just ended and my head is reeling.

I’ve been very lucky and had many opportunities to have fun as a knitter and otherwise, but this was beyond any expectations I could have imagined. Never before have I been around so many incredible, talented and hilarious men. QueerJoe and KnitterguyTed created a new piece of knitting culture. One that I hope will continue for many years to come. Thank you both, from the bottom of my heart. I hope to return for years to come.

I’m typing this oh my phone, so I can’t link to everyone I’ve met and tell you stories about each right now. There was some recording for YKnit that you’ll eventually hear, but nothing could capture the joy and peace (sounds too Christmas-y) or the silly merriment and fibery inspiration I just experienced. I loved seeing Dr. Mel and meeting his David, finding out Guido is just like he sounds (if not feisty-er) and getting to hug and laugh with Michael (after years of email and his launching my “career”). Everyone who was there was a fine and fabulous fellow who I’d to hang out with (pardon my dangling participle).

But there was one guy who is my new best friend and retreat roomie for life: Sean of the Soapbox out of Boston. I’m relieved we live on opposite coasts, because we’d be a terror if we spent any more time together! Thank you for the ride to Albany and unending laughs. Read him, love him and find him at Woolcott & Co if you’re ever in Cambridge. I liked him online, but now that I’ve met him, I may tattoo his face on my bum-bum. In a platonic kinda way. (Mom, this is a joke.)

OK. This thumb typing is boring me. I’m going to get back to savoring my memories. It was awsome to spend the weekend with everyone. We simply must do it again. If you’re reading this and have testes, do consider coming new time!

WG in Berlin!

Monday, May 12th, 2008

What are the odds that another knit blogger is already there?

Sadly, our paths probably won’t cross… unless he defects and remains in Germany.

Thanks for the tip, Joe! (and belated happy birthday!)

Ich liebe Käse

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Getting ready for the trip, we enjoyed a German breakfast of bread and cheese this morning. I’ve been drinking lots of coffee, too.

Only three days at the office this week then off to travel for two weeks.

I’m still accepting Berlin recommendations. Y’all were so good for Paris… any thoughts on Deutschland?

Man Camp

Friday, May 9th, 2008

One week from today, I’ll be somewhere north of Albany, NY at the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat. Thanks Joe and Ted for thinking this up and organizing everything!

And, heck, thanks for letting me lead a workshop (which I prefer to call a conversation) on men’s sock design. In the spirit of an informal gathering, I make no promises that anyone will walk away from the two hours with a brand spanking new sock design, but I expect we’ll have a good time talking about ways to approach a more manly sock. Sort of a hot man-on-man-on sock discussion, if you will. Let’s be honest, I can’t teach anyone to be creative… that’s already inside each of us. For anyone who can’t make it, feel free to contact me via email or in the comments to share your thoughts on the state of male sock design.

For those of you missing a Y chromosome, I will be bringing the YKNIT microphone to try to capture some of goings-on. I trust that since it’s men, it will be very structured, restrained fun, lacking creativity and focused on the serious, serious business of knitting. </sarcasm> I’m looking forward to meeting many of the guys I read (and listen to) face-to-face. (Yes, there will be pictures. No, not in bathtubs.)

From there, it’s off to meet Mr. Man in Berlin. That Berlin. He’s been itching to get back for the past five years. His years stationed in Germany during the 80’s have damaged him, compelling him to return to Deutschland often. He’ll be running around photo’ing and I’ll be happy not to be at the office. Anyone know of any knitting there? Let your Berliner (or jelly doughnut) friends know I’m available for Kaffee und Stricken. Or Bier(e).

I should head off to the day job… how many more days until camp?

Y Knit 007: Surviving Sock Camp

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

It looks like I’m never going to get around to telling you all about sock camp in blog-form. So how’s about a stroll down Monkey Memory lane?

Listen to Y KNIT episode 007 for an audio peek into the fun that was had! This is just the tip of the iceberg (how it snowed!).

A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to Tina, the Sockateers, Rosie and Debra, the instructors and all the crazy campers. And a special thanks to my mom for flying across the country to hang out with me!

Sadly, the camp song about STR sock club didn’t make the cut (poor audio quality), but here are the lyrics if you want to karaoke it yourself:

Addicted to Yarn
(to the tune of Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love – zombie backup band is optional)
inspired by Tina, with help from Meg, Deb and Ann

Your mailman’s here, but it’s not at home.
Your mind is not your own.
Your heart sweats, your body shakes,
Another skein is what it takes.

You can’t sleep, you can’t eat.
Theres no doubt, you’re in deep.
Your throat is tight, you can’t breathe,
Another kit is all you need!

Whoa, you like to think that youre immune to the stuff,
Oh, yeah!

It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough,
You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to yarn.

You see the (blog) posts, but you can’t read.
Your mailman’s at a different speed.
You heart beats in double time.
Another kit and you’ll be fine, a one-skein mind!

You can’t be saved,
Socks That Rock is all you crave
If there’s some left for you
A chevron scarf, you’ll do.

Whoa, you like to think that youre immune to the stuff,
Oh, yeah!

It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough,
You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to yarn.

Gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to yarn

Tina’s your dealer, you’re addicted to yarn!
Cat is a genius, you’re addicted to circs!
Stephanie is crazy, you’re addicted to socks!
JC’s cool Jumbo-tron, you’re addicted to sproing!
Cookie traveling stitches, you’re addicted to leg!

Sock camp is done, we’re going home.
We’ll be knitting, on our own.
Your hands sweat, needles grind,
Another row and you’ll be fine.
Whoa, you like to think that youre immune to the stuff,
Oh, yeah!

It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough,
You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to yarn.

Gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to yarn!

Cockeyed and Hot Flash, you’re addicted to schnapps!
Tammy, Etta Mae, you’re attached to the shop!
Rosie (we miss you!), you’re addicted to dye!
Can’t forget Debra, you’re buried in yarn!
Might as well face it, we’re addicted to yarn!
Might as well face it, we’re addicted to yarn!