Tuesday, September 25, 2007

wool 100%

last week i saw the most surreally beautiful movie... WOOL 100%. it was a japanese fantasy about 2 elderly sisters, ume and kame, who go out trash-picking every day, and bring home their treasures to their adorably cluttered collyer-esque house, where they lovingly clean the item and then paint a little portrait of it in their sketchbook. one day, their idyllic routine is shattered by the arrival of a shrieking feral girl who obsessively knits a giant sweater out of red wool yarn, but is never satisfied with it and so inevitably unravels it and begins knitting again, all the while apparently screaming 'knit again! i must knit it again!!!' from the rooftop. she never speaks except for this, so the sisters name her 'Knitagain' (in japanese of course) and try to feed and care for her, though she doesn't seem to appreciate their efforts at all; in fact she trashes their house and burns their sketchbook!
there's not a whole lot of plot (think of it more like a dream, kind of simultaneously enchanting and terrifying) and i'll admit it could use a touch more editing, but i found this film so inspiring and mesmerising... if you love japan, or collecting, or cuckoo clocks, or knitting, you will love this movie. if you love michel gondry, tim burton, or jean-pierre jeunet, you will love this movie. the animations, the music, and the art direction are all amazingly perfect. read the much more eloquent Times review here. the film's run at two boots is over, but keep an eye out for it at an indie cinema near you! the DVD releases in december, so i've got my fingers crossed that my beloved netflix will pick it up...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

crochet class at brooklyn general

it's officially fall, which (among other things) means Crochet Season! i'll be teaching the first crochet class of the season at Brooklyn General, starting this wednesday evening (9/26)...

crochet 101
3 two-hour classes:
wednesday evenings 6:30 to 8:30 pm, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10

in this class you will learn all the basics of crochet (chain, single, double and triple crochet stitches) and how to use them to whip up scarves, hats, amigurumi and infinite other possibilities! we will learn shaping and circular crochet, as well as stitch patterns like meshes, scallops and bobbles. you'll begin a scarf in the first class and continue on to either a hat or shawl by the end of the session. happy hooking!

students should bring one skein of smooth yarn in a light or bright color (easier to see your stitches) in either worsted or bulky size. for worsted bring a size G or H crochet hook, and for bulky a J or K.

to register, please call the shop at 718–237–7753 (leave a message!) or email at classes@brooklyngeneral.com. you must register in advance in order to ensure a spot in the class.

Brooklyn General is
located at 128 Union Street (btwn Columbia & Hicks) in Cobble Hill.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

4 D 4 ever

last week was the feral childe spring/summer 08 fashion show and as usual, the girls didn't disappoint! it was held at utowa, a very unusual store that sells flowers, clothing and cosmetics. you can see the current fall collection there and at these other fine shops.

the aural accompaniment this time was a cool guy who played an assortment of percussion instruments.

and the clothes, of course, were smashing! i especially loved the dresses and printed leggings.

here's the lovely team of alice and moriah, taking their shy bow...

hot chicks in glasses carol and erika, and the adorable girls from soon beauty lab who did the models' hair for the show.

there's siri picking out her faves, and the cute owner of ai ai gasa with friends.

erika, kim, me, and liz... and erika trying on a feral childe dress.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

take me to the county fair

don't put on high-fashion clothes, you won't need them buttons and bows,
i'm gonna take you to the county fair...
see a side show, eat barbecue, judge a pie contest 'til our lips turn blue,
do some huggin' and lovin' at the county fair!

---county fair by Phil Alvin (hear it on iTunes! p.s. thanks paul!)

last weekend i went to the columbia county fair for the second time (see pics from last year's visit here). it's a fairly perfect small rural fair and it was really fun. most definitely the highlight was the thing i still can't shut up about: petting the baby kangaroo you see above! as soft as a bunny and so amazing... and even better was the moment when we saw his brother, who had been hopping around on the ground, go back up to mom and CLIMB INTO HER POUCH!!! i had no idea a 2-foot-tallish joey could still climb into the mama's (who wasn't much more than 3 feet tall!) pouch and be completely enveloped; not even a paw stuck out. absolutely one of the coolest things i've ever seen! all this was thanks to the two by two zoo.

so yeah, the animals are what the fair is all about to me, and we proceeded to check out the less exotic varieties. however, in the poultry barn i became quite enamored with the indian fantail pigeons. who knew pigeons could be so beautiful? if we had these adorable little bell-bottomed peacocks prancing around nyc, i would certainly start throwing breadcrumbs out my window like my neighbors do!

we watched some 4-H cow and sheep judging and were fascinated by such concepts as udder placement and assessing animals (being raised and held by 10-year old kids) in terms of how they'll look hanging from a meat hook, and disregarding the parts that 'will fall on the floor' (i.e. the head and legs)!!! aaahh, the brutal reality of farm life...
and we learned a great deal about oxen, which up until then i thought were a breed of cattle, but now i know that 'ox' is more a title earned (by a castrated bull a.k.a. steer) through training, after first becoming a 'clever steer' and then a 'handy steer'. fascinating!

of course we ate lots of fried food; my lunch was this 'veggie plate', and a good part of a funnel cake, which in all the excitement i completely forgot to photograph.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

fall classes @ Home Ec!

here are all the details for the roster at Home Ec in Park Slope. i'm teaching patternmaking here and they also offer sewing and knitting classes...

Home Ec is Flirt Brooklyn's new creative space on 3rd Avenue near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn's Park Slope! in search of a design studio for our Flirt clothing line, we came upon a spacious former machine shop which afforded us enough space to do more than just design. it now allows us to answer the eternal question, "Do you teach sewing classes?" with a firm and resounding, "Yes! We do!"
sewing classes, crafting and mending nights, children's craft and sewing classes, knitting, patternmaking, open studio and creative time and many more events. we are really excited about Home Ec becoming part of the Park Slope community, so if you have a class you'd like to teach or an event you'd like to hold let us know! we'll be sending out weekly email updates so sign up for our mailing list to learn about all our classes and events.

Home Ec is located at 303 3rd avenue (between carroll & 1st street) park slope, brooklyn

here's how you sign up:
email: flirtbrooklyn@earthlink.net
call: 718-852-2889
stop by either Flirt location:
93 fifth avenue between baltic and warren, park slope, brooklyn
252 smith street between douglass and degraw, carroll gardens, brooklyn

patternmaking with Cal Patch
fridays, september 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th from 6:30-8:30.
if you can sew, you're most likely itching to make your own patterns so that you can design your own clothes from scratch. we'll show you how to take your own measurements and use them to draft patterns for a basic t-shirt and skirt that fit YOUR body! then we'll take those slopers and stylize them to fit your vision, as well as learn to make patterns from existing garments. soon you'll be stitching up a whole new wardrobe!
***this is an intermediate class so some sewing experience is necessary***

there are 4 class sessions each lasting 2 hours. classes are fridays, september 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. the cost is $240.

supplies needed:
*a roll or pad of newsprint, drawing, wrapping or patternmaking paper, at least 14" wide
*see-through 18" ruler
*hip curve or french curve
*tape measure
*pencil and sharpener (or mechanical pencil)
*scotch tape
*scissors (for paper)
*push pins
*safety pins
*1 yard of muslin or similar inexpensive woven fabric
*1 1/2 yds of t-shirt jersey or similar knit

Flirt Skirt with Patti Gilstrap
september 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th
can't find the perfect skirt? is the fabric amazing but the fit is never quite right? learn to make your own Flirt Skirt with Patti Gilstrap co-owner of Flirt and designer of the shop's house label!
in this class you will alter a commercial pattern to fit your measurements, and then cut and sew your own A-line skirt from that pattern. you will learn to set in a zipper, sew darts, and hem the skirt to your desired length. time permitting, we will add a top-stitched pocket.

the class is 4 sessions in september and each session is 2 hours long. the dates are september 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and the class is $240.00 plus supplies.
**this is an intermediate class so some previous experience is necessary**.

supply list:
*2 yds. of 45" or 60" non stretch woven fabric such as cotton, cotton blends
linen, linen blends, twill, pique. NO KNITS (and please nothing very slippery)
*all-purpose thread to match your fabric.
*1 7" zipper (no metal and not invisible)
*1 package of 1/2" wide twill tape

Build a Bag Workshop
wednesday september 5th, and thursday september 20th
the Build a Bag Workshop is a 3-hour project-based class geared toward the beginning sewer. no experience is necessary!! after choosing your own interior and exterior fabrics you will cut, pin, interface, and machine-sew your own lined cotton tote bag. the cost is $120. and all materials are included. classes are from 6:30-9:30pm. wine and chocolate to celebrate at the end!

supply suggestions:
Steinlauf and Stoller Inc.
239 w. 39th street

P&S Fabrics
360 broadway (between franklin and leonard)

Metro Textile Corp.
265 w. 37th street, suite 908

Mood Designer Fabrics
225 w. 37th street, 3rd floor

Introduction to Knitting with Antoinettte Indge of Cinderloop
september 12th, 19th, and 26th 6:30-8:30pm

don't we all think the same thing every year as the weather cools down and we start to pull out sweaters, scarves, and hats? "i wish i'd taken the time to learn to knit!" well here is your opportunity!!! this is a class for beginning knitters; no previous experience is necessary. by the end of this three-week workshop, you will have made a scarf in the design of your choice. you will learn to knit and purl, as well as explore simple pattern stitches. along the way you'll pick up lots of tips and advice to help you with future projects, including how to choose yarn, how to read a pattern, and how to avoid common pitfalls and fix mistakes. this workshop is a great way to start your knitting career!

supplies needed:

*4 balls of worsted wool yarn: 2 in a main color, 2 in a second color
*set of size 9 double pointed needles
*tapestry needle for weaving in yarn ends
*point protectors for ends of needles
*small scissors
*size G or H crochet hook

there are 3-sessions in this workshop and the cost is $125.
september 12th, 19th, and 26th 6:30-8:30pm

Antoinette Indge is the designer of the Cinderloop clothing line and has been knitting for many years. before she started Cinderloop, she taught knitting classes professionally. she especially loves lace knitting and designing sweaters.

supply source suggestions:

Brooklyn General
128 union street between hicks and columbia
brooklyn 718 237 7753

398 atlantic avenue, corner of bond
brooklyn 718 797 3305

Downtown Yarns
45 avenue A
manhattan 212 995 5991

137 sullivan street
manhattan 212 420 8796