Sunday, June 29, 2008

JK Rowling Saw My Stuff!

As the title says... JK ROWLING SAW MY STUFF! For anyone who is living under a rock and doesn't know who JK Rowling is, she authored the Harry Potter series. And she saw the stuff I made!

Explanation, dear friends: Last year I sent a care package to a friend at Halloween. As she and I both share an obsessive love for all things Harry Potter, the package contained a cauldron, pumpkin bread, pumpkin beer (yes, folks, I sent her beer), and, of course, a wand carved by me and my trusty Swiss Army knife and a hand knitted Gryffindor scarf with the school crest on it. THIS year she went to graduate school at Harvard (yes, really, she did) where the commencement speaker for the year was none other than JK Rowling. As the graduating class was small, my friend was sitting right up front, wearing the scarf and carrying the wand with her cap and gown. And JK Rowling smiled at her and her regalia. And she told me and I was excited.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Book Review

My mother gave me the book "How to Knit in the Woods." I was terribly excited for the book to come out and even more excited to get an early birthday gift. At first glance there were some really great practical things like a camp chair knitted with sisal, some stuff that I wasn't sure I'd want to knit for the woods (really, who spends hours knitting a sweater and then wears it camping?), and some really silly stuff, like a Nalgene water bottle cozy. But, being the outdoorsy knitter that I am, I dove right in and began to knit with gusto. I made the Ell Pond Nalgene cozy, and who knew, it really works! Who would have thought that wool would keep something cold?! But it's great, I love it, I've since made two, have had a friend ask for one, and am enjoying embellishing them.

I have also started on the Cooler Hammock, which is knit from butcher's twine (kitchen cotton) and meant to suspend your Igloo cooler from a tree branch to keep out of reach of marauding beasties. I'm not sure about how well it would stand up to the black bears we have around here, but it will at least keep the ants out of my cooler when I'm car camping.

Then there's the camp stool which I've tried to knit three times and can't get to work. First of all, sisal is nasty to knit with. It's stiff and grainy and little pieces shred off it. It's meant for baling hay and the like. Second of all, the book says you can get what they used at the local hardware or home improvement store. I hit four and can't find what they are talking about. Mine's not white and it doesn't knit to guage. It's huge. So forget that for the time being. Maybe I'll make it out of nylon or polypropalene or something.

THEN there's the fact that the book does not stand up to weathering well. One would think that a book made for knitting in the woods would be able to take a slight beating. Well, my Camelback leaked in my backpack and the book is now ruined. I'm not sure if I am going to get another copy or not. We shall see, my friends, we shall see.