Happy Friday! Here are some interesting things that have been recently happening in the fiber arts world:
In Canada, Rita Gallant decided to take up knitting when her grandson was born prematurely. This turned into a 28-year-old passion for knitting for others, for which she was rewarded for last month. Here's Rita's story.
I was so sad to find out that my favorite L.A. yarn shop, Wildfiber was closing soon. It was there for decades and it will be a big loss to their community. Closer to home, I found an interesting solution to the lack of yarn shops. Read how a partnership between Chappaqua boutique,Marmalade and NYC'sThe Yarn Company will provide residents with a little bit of yarn heaven and more. If you're in the area, this will be happening tomorrow, Saturday, March 8th.
No doubt you've been seeing countless stories around the web this week, talking about knitting sweaters for oil-soaked penguins. I was tagged on Facebook by several friends to do this and just as I was going to dive into my stash, I read an article that partially debunked this need and told the real story.
Well, we are finally get some warmer weather this weekend, which will hopefully start the big thaw. It feels like we've been living on Hoth for months!
I was looking forward to seeing this play because the plot certainly resonates with so many women today. It’s about two formerly close friends who had chosen certain lifestyles for themselves, but soon discover they might not be the right ones.
After drifting apart over the years, Catherine(Amy Brenneman) a successful author and lecturer reunites with grad school friends Gwen (Kellie Overbey) a stay-at-home mom, and her husband Don (Lee Tergesen), who is dean of the local college and also Catherine’s ex-boyfriend from their college days.
Catherine left her hectic city life to come to New England to take care of her mom, Alice (Beth Dixon) who is recovering from a heart attack. An awkward reunion with Gwen and Don begins with an argument over why their babysitter Avery (Virginia Kull) should not be allowed to stay because she has a black eye, which sends a negative message to their son.
Gwen and Avery sign up for (and are the only students of) Catherine’s summer school class, given in her mother’s home. There are some incredibly wonderful discussions here about Betty Friedan, Phyliis Schlafly and even how horror films reflect the changing roles of women in society.
It’s during these scenes that Catherine decides she wants to rekindle her romance with Don and Gwen wants a city life for herself and her show-biz loving son. Amazingly, everyone agrees.
I won’t give too much more away other than to say that "Rapture, Blister, Burn" is wonderfully acted, funny and insighful well-written play. Even the scenery changes were amazing!
I love seeing plays that lend themselves to discussions afterwards and this certainly will have you thinking about the themes and how they relate to you in your life.
"Rapture Blister Burn" is a limited engagement, running until June 24, so click here and get your tickets now.
Disclaimer: I am not affililated with Mama Drama NY or Playwrights Horizons. These tickets were a contest prize. All opinions are my own.
This past Saturday night, courtesy of MamaDrama and Playtime, I attended a performance of Old Jews Telling Jokes at the Westside Theater.
I’m already a big fan of the website where Jewish men and women age 60 and up, talk to camera and tell old Borscht-Belt style jokes. I couldn’t imagine how this could be translated into a play, so I was intrigued.
Well, let me tell you, I haven’t laughed this much for this long, EVER! The show was absolutely hilarious and judging from the audience reaction, they felt the same way. I have never been to any show where people were convulsed with laughter like this.
Old Jews Telling Jokes is a revue consisting of (you guessed it) jokes and songs, with live piano music. The amazingly talented cast consists of three “old Jews”, Marilyn Sokol, Lenny Wolpe and Todd Sussman, and two younger folks, Bill Army and Audrey Lynn Weston.
The jokes come fast and furious and you’re laughing so much and then you laugh some more! For 90 minutes! The actors look like they’re having fun, so much so, that they occasionally crack each other up and have to compose themselves to go on to the next joke.
They cover topics like love, marriage, sex, retirement, old age, illness and much more. It’s definitely not for younger audiences and if it I could borrow from the film ratings, I’d say this was an “R.”
You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate this show. If you love to laugh (and who doesn’t?), you’ll have a wonderful time.
I'd also like to introduce you all to Playtime! . It's a program that provides daycare for children ages 4-12, while their parents can enjoy seeing a show in NYC. The Playtime! staff is bonded and insured, CPR-certified and are background-checked, so you can confidently leave your children, knowing they will be well cared for.
Think about it. Instead of scrambling for a babysitter, you can bring your kids with you, drop them off with creative, artistic sitters, who will give them a fun, cultural experience, all for the amazing price of $15 per child!
Please visit their website or contact Emily at playtime@PlaytimeNYC.org or call 212-564-1235, ext. 3153 (M-F, 10AM-6PM) for further information.
Disclaimer: I was given tickets to the show from Mama Drama and Playtime, but received no compensation for this review
I learned to knit as a teenager, but had an on-again, off-again relationship with it over the years. It wasn’t until I was recovering from neck surgery, that I reacquainted myself with it and haven’t stopped since.
At that time, I was living in Los Angeles, which lucky for knitters, had a fair amount of yarn shops. My favorite by far was an airy, large beautiful space called Wildfiber, located in Santa Monica, not too far from the beach. Wildfiber was then owned by Mel Clark, who in addition to running the shop, was an incredible knitter and designer.
Every time I’d come into the shop and see Mel wearing one of her creations, I’d want to make it immediately. So did everyone else. Lucky for us, Mel along with her friend and fellow passionate knitter, Tracey Ullman, co-authored, “Knit 2 Together.” It was the first knitting book with a sense a humor and beautiful patterns and encouraged me to become, as the book calls it, “an intrepid knitter.”
Mel left L.A. at around the same time I did. She went back home to New Zealand, where she started an online business and a blog. When Mel announced on her blog that she was writing another book, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to see it.
“Knitting Everyday Finery” has arrived and it’s wonderful. The book is a collection of twenty-six charming patterns that will perk up your wardrobe, are quick to finish and also make great gifts. The designs are elegant, stylish and the beautiful photography makes me want to make almost everything.
The patterns are broken up into three sections, “Out and About”, “Dressing Up” and “At Home.” Right off the bat, I fell in love with the “Mrs. Lovechild Shawl” (the cover pattern above) and the “Everyday Cardigan”(below).
Here's the whimsical “H@t”:
Mel also has some nice patterns for guys, including a hat and scarf set that isn't too fussy. I like that even in its simplicity, it's an interesting knit.
The most ambitious project in the book is the "Tangerine Tights" ( Tangerine Tango is Pantone's color for 2012) Inspired by a vintage pair of tights one of the models for the book was wearing, Mel designed and knit up her own version. They're amazing!
"Knitting Everyday Finery" also has some great accessories. There's a quilt-inspired tam, an entrelac purse and lovely gloves that will make you want to go to high tea immediately after making them.
So what do you think? Are you ready to add some finery to your repertoire? I know I am!
Have a great weekend!
Disclaimer: I do know the author and was sent the book from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for this review. My opinions are my own.
Images courtesy of Trafalagar Square Books, Mel Clark, Helen Bankers
Directed by Leigh Silverman, "No Place to Go" is the story about playwright/singer Ethan Lipton's losing his permanent part-time job as a copy editor, or as he calls it "an information refiner." This story will no doubt resonate for creative people who need day jobs, so they can afford to pursue their artistic dreams. Lipton's three piece band is fantastic and the music was light and jazzy. I loved Ethan's singing style which reminded me of Tom Waits and maybe a touch of Leon Redbone, without being imitative. The lyrics were great and showcased his wry observations on working and job loss.
If you're in the NYC-area, you should definitely check this out. Joe's Pub is a beautiful space and you can get drinks and eats during the show. As an extra-added incentive, thanks to Mama Drama, you can get discount tickets to the show.
Use NOPLACE for $25 tickets which can be purchased by calling 212-‐967-‐7555; clicking here ; or visiting The Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette St.
I have been a fan of Alicia Paulson's blog for years. We never met, but had email exchanges over the years. She had shared rough times and I shared mine with hers and always appreciated our mutual friendship and support.
Now Alicia and her husband Andy, need support themselves. They had been planning to adopt a baby girl and when her blog was silent recently, I was hoping it was because she was too busy with the baby to update. That was not the case.
Here is Alicia's latest post which tells of the devastating turn of events that led to the adoption falling apart. It's the saddest thing and I can't even begin to imagine how Alicia and Andy are holding up after this.
Think good thoughts for these wonderful people. It will take time for them to heal and every good thought helps.