Archive for January, 2010

Write now

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
Annual pen cleaning

Ever since high school, I’ve been a fan of fountain pens. I like their quality of line, expressive nature and the importance they impart into the words they write. Taking notes in real ink made me pay more attention to their content and celebrate the human hand that keyboards will never replace (especially the touch screen one on this phone I’m using now).

Before I knit, pen shops were a destination I’d seek out when traveling. Fountain pens are what I’d look for at flea markets, too. It’s only natural that a paper fetish followed from there. (I’d love to show you my pad and stationery collection one day.) Oddly enough, I never got into inks. I was content to use the bottles from Farhney’s (my dad’s favorite mail-order pen pusher) or one of the other two bottles I had (pure black Parker Quink and some electric royal blue from Krone).

Life goes on and I amass a little pen stash of pens (only ten or so). I use them for work, but sadly never fully develop the journaling or letter-writing habit I wish I had. I’ve had one flea market find boxed up for repair for years, but never gotten around to it. Heck, there are a few pens that have bever even been used!

So as part of my creating order in 2010, I dusted off my pens (like this blog) and decided to clean them out and put some of the newest ones into rotation. It makes me so happy to ride the glide of a nib across some smooth, heavy paper. like a good pen owner, the ones that haven’t been in use were already cleaned and perfectly content chilling in the cabinet.

Testing J. Herbin fountain pen inks

Lo and behold, in the same cabinet, I found two bottles of French ink I received in the mail last spring. Back in February, I agreed to review some J. Herbin fountain pen inks. I thought I’d receive one bottle, but two arrived, along with a mini Rhodia notepad. (They import thissuper-duper paper as well as inks and planners.) I had played with the Orange Indien when I first received it. How could I pass up an orange? It’s is confident and strong. Unfortunately, the Parker 51 I’m using with it is very generous (down-”write” slutty!) and leaves a fat wet line. But the ink remains as a very handsome and unique stroke.

The Lierre Sauvage is vibrant and perky green. Bright and alive, yet maintaining the dignity of a deeper forest green. I’m going to enjoy playing with this. I filled a Récife pen purchased during our 2007 trip to Paris that has languished parched and empty for these past two or so years. It’s about time this beauty sprouted words and thoughts onto paper, and the new leaf colored ink is well-suited for shoots and tendrils awaiting to unfurl from my hand.

With freshly cleaned pens from work stored away, a filled blue-black and a bright blue trusted sidekicks in my bag, and these new orange and green friends, I’ve got quite a bit of writing to do. I hand write my designs in their idea origins and as I knit them. I’m counting on these new inks to help realize the many new designs 2010 holds.

MMX

Friday, January 1st, 2010

So this is the New Year… I never could have predicted that 2009 would contain all of the surprises and plot twists that it did. My life is better for it, for sure.I grateful and working hard at beig present to enjoy it all, the good and the bad.

Starting back in January, a recall at work, the first time for the company, only to be followed by a smaller recall later on. It rivaled the intensity of training for Ironman and ultramarathons (only I barely worked out other than circus class through June – note to self: sign up again – it’s been too long, do something! . March: I spoke at SXSW interactive about crafting and community in Austin, TX. Work was highly productive with sites and an iPhone app launched, and the groundwork for a strong 2010 laid. Then, my boss announced he was leaving in August. I followed suit in October, and now work a short 12-minute bike ride to downtown San Francisco at a sweet-smelling dream job.

On the knitting front, YKNIT is on hiatus which was first going to be me flying solo but never quite took off the ground. The jury’s still out whether I can devote the time to publish the three episodes I have recorded. Of course there was Sock Camp where I met a new BFF. I returned to Albany for the MSKR with my evil twin Sean. A few months later Sock Summit happened, full of so many memories and people and inspiration to cherish forever. Fall saw the MFKR where I taught and met more incredible guys, and drove with Cat and her chatty GPS. My second Rhinebeck included my mom, who patiently put up with Sean and my shenanigans. November: I’ll never forget the hours of microwaving dyed yarn from Knot Hysteria’s Dye to Knit weekend. Over the year, there were a couple of designs completed and more to come (I’ll share as soon as it’s kosher). I ended the year casting on at 11:14 am for the full moon on this very special blue moon New Year’s Eve and knitting on Herbivore in BMFA Silkie as the clock struck midnight.

2009 was a year full of love (Paris honeymoon), work and wool. Other than snuggles with Janie Sparkles, I couldnt ask for much more. I am grateful it turned out to be a stellar, if not watershed, year for me. I am so excited about what the future may hold, so bring it. Although I may not have acheived all of last yeat’s resolutions (darn you, unicycle!), but what’s tomorrow for if not trying again?

My predictions or goals for the new year? More of the same: growth, challenges, finished objects, creativity, great food, and time spent with friends.

(And you, unicycle? I’m coming for you!)