Happy fall! We’ve been busy here at Scarffish revising our look and adding a few new items. hope you’ll take a look! Each Scarffish is now a little longer, a little wider and a little starrier. It’s still soft, warm and very colorful, and makes a fabulous gift for just about anyone (maybe for yourself!) We have a few new Scarffish on our site, too, including an updated “Ocracoke Sunrise” Scarffish; “Reachable Stars” Scarffish, a black scarf with gorgeous silver starfish; and “Oceanic” Scarffish, named after a Wrightsville Beach seaside hotel: sand scarf with eight different colors of starfish. And don’t forget the Moby, our Mobius infinity scarf. You have to wear it to believe it: soft, thick and colorful. AND completely new for this year, the Starkler Garland: a seven foot long strand of handmade Starklers, available in fifteen different sparkly colors (or all colors on one garland: what about that???) Starkler Garlands make amazing decorations: for Christmas trees, house decor, window trim, mantelpieces, kids’ rooms: you name it. Visit scarffish.com today to see what’s up, and get a little sparkle going!
Way too hot to talk about yarn. Of course, I am knitting like crazy, making Scarffish and Mobys for fall and winter, but a person can only take so much, right? So here’s what I just did for the past two hours: dusted off each of the 132 snow globes that live on the shelf under the windows in the only staircase in our house. There are 133 because that’s all I could fit there: I had to give fifteen to the local thrift shop. This started back in 1987, when a friend gave me a DC snow globe for my 30th birthday (I’m from DC, and was living there at the time, but it’s the thought that counts.) That’s it, front row slightly left, and it’s marked #1 on its bottom. Shortly thereafter, a work colleague brought me one back from a business trip, and then a third person did the same, and you know what happens as soon as you have three of something, people think you’re “collecting”. Before I knew it, I had snow globes from everywhere, and my “collection” kept growing. After #37, I gave up on keeping track. There are small globes, and bigger globes, and non-globes: two are sideways bottles, one of which is from New York City, with the World Trade Center buildings right in front. There’s a Pedro from South of the Border, and a Beefeater from Buckingham Palace. There’s an Arizona Snowman: just a hat, a carrot and two black eyes, floating. There are two “Pet Tornados”, which you swirl in your hand to see a spinning funnel of water . I have two nuns in snow: not sure what’s up with them. There are two bears see-sawing in snow from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thirty-one US states are represented, as are Puerto Rico, France, Nassau, Holland, England, Germany, Australia, Canada, Italy, Barbados, Virgin Islands and Iceland. I wish I could say I visited all these places, but alas, I did not. Only through the kindness of well-traveled friends and the availability of cheap souvenirs have I been able to take a break from writing yarns about yarn. Have a great summer, and don’t forget to think about Scarffish when the weather cools off. www.scarffish.com
Alas, I am unable to attend my 40th high school reunion this summer. I was incredibly lucky to be part of a great class with amazing students, wonderful friends, and some fabulous teachers. Since I can’t be there, I did the next best thing: I made a Scarffish! Here’s the blue and gold “Class of 75 Scarffish” in honor of the High Point High School, Class of 1975. See it and many more at www.scarffish.com.
Class of 75: this one’s for you!!!
And we at Scarffish wouldn’t dream of missing an opportunity to rhyme! Go ahead: take a chance and try your luck at your own limerick today. You might surprise yourself. And don’t forget to sign up for the Scarffish email list (we keep them to a minimum!) and get 25% off your first order at scarffish.com. Rhyme on!
What’s better than a Scarffish? For someone you know who’s infanticipating, how about a beautiful Scarffish for the mom, and a matching beanie for the new babester? Here’s our “New Mom and Baby Set” in Carolina blue, perfect for Tarheel moms-to-be and their coming offspring. Soft and warm (and washable!), each Scarffish and beanie is made by hand in Chapel Hill (where else??) NC, and comes with a Starkler to hang in baby’s window (Carolina blue, of course) and a copy of “Scarffish in History”, all packed up and ready to gift (available in other colors, too.) $95.00, US s/h free, at scarffish.com
I made this mobile purely for me, during a break in Scarffish production, to hang in my studio at home. But when I walked into the room one morning, there it was, hanging above my drawing table (the same drawing table I used in college), turning minutely in the sunlight. It was like watching music, seeing how the sparkles of the yarn caught the sunlight for a second then faded as another starfish moved into the light. I was mesmerized. So here it is: the Starkler Mobile: a dozen sparkly crocheted starfish suspended from a handmade wooden frame, ready to hang where you can enjoy it. I bet it will mesmerize you, too. (Wish the photo were better, but my photographer is on a semester abroad in Japan, so better photos to come when she returns.) Starkler Mobile, made by hand in Chapel Hill, NC: $55.00 at scarffish.com, US s/h always free.
I knit pretty fast: it’s become an addiction for me. Once I get going, it’s always interesting (and frankly a little scary), after the fact, to try and trace where my thoughts went from the point at which I started to when I finally put down the needles. It’s 100% illogical. Here’s a typical string: need to be careful running this morning, don’t pull that muscle any more; have to be back no later than 11; what am I wearing to work tomorrow?; need to get bags for the pop-up market on Saturday; has Norm finished the prototype of the Starkler mobile yet?; gee, it’s so HOT in here!; is anyone going to ever defeat ISIS?; noon audiology appointment on Friday; send out email to remind shelter cooks; give Ruthie those seashells; call that guy about the hot water heater; it goes on and on and on. I’ve learned to just give in to it and when I’m done, take a deep breath and make a list (I try to leave world domination matters off the list.)
And remember: if you’re in NC this coming weekend, stop by the Perch Studios Spring Pop-Up Market in Carrboro. Saturday, April 25, 9am-1pm at 204 West Main Street. Lots of great artists and loads of fun!
Anyway, want to see the actual making of a Scarffish? Click here!
The first one was so much fun we’re doing it again. It’s spring party time! Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 25 (9am-1pm) for the second amazing Perch Studios Pop-Up Market in Carrboro, NC. Perch Studios is located catty-corner across from the PTA Thrift Store, at 204 W. Main Street, Carrboro. This is a small, select gathering of local artists and craftspeople, about 15 in all, in a delightful setting. You’ll find fabulous handmade items for yourself or to give as gifts (Mother’s Day? Graduation? Never-too-early-to-shop-for-Christmas?): clothing, scarves, terrariums, pottery, jewelry, creams and soaps, and much, much more. It’s a wonderful array of items you won’t find anywhere else. So come and see us at Perch Studios on April 25, and support local businesses. See you there!
My brothers and I all attended Holy Redeemer Elementary School in College Park, Md. from first through eighth grade. Yes, nuns in black habits wielding rosaries and yardsticks. You would think that the lasting memory of such an experience would be something along a spiritual line, or of a teacher who changed your life in some way. But not for me. My lasting memory of HRS is The Ice Cream Room. We all brought our lunches from home, and each day at 11:30, some lucky eighth graders would be sprung from class to run around the school setting crates of pint milk cartons outside each of the sixteen classrooms. At noon, another eighth grader would stand outside The Office and ring a large brass bell with a black wooden handle, sounding the lunch alarm. Papers and books disappeared into desks; lunchboxes or brown paper bags were pulled out from under desks; and the pints of milk (by now lukewarm) were distributed to students in each classroom. We ate lunch at our desks, and when done, if you were lucky enough to have change in your pocket, you got to go to The Ice Cream Room, which was actually the office storage room with a huge, white, open-from-the-top deep freezer that held a limited selection of ice cream treats for sale after lunch. You could buy a Popsicle for a nickel, or a Rocket for fifteen cents. But in the middle, you could get a Nutty Buddy, a Dixie Cup, a Dreamsicle or a Creamsicle for a dime. This is my memory of Holy Redeemer: the Creamsicle. It was orange sherbert filled with vanilla ice cream. (The Dreamsicle was a distant cousin: chocolate and vanilla, and not nearly as exotic.) You bit off some of the orange, and that was okay, but as you approached the vanilla center, it turned into something amazing as you tasted the sublime union of orange and vanilla together. It was a perfect combination of flavors. So here is my Creamsicle Scarffish, named in honor of one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.
I knit or crochet all the time. I mean, all the time. Carry it with me everywhere. There is always a project of some sort on the front passenger seat of my car, since you never know when you’ll get stuck in traffic. (I once sat in a major traffic back-up on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in DC, and luckily had a scarf-in-progress with me. By the time the back-up ended, some two hours later, I had a scarf-almost-done.) Late one recent afternoon, I was on the T bus in Chapel Hill, heading home. Bus was a bit crowded, but I found an empty seat just behind the railing at the rear door. I pulled out a crochet hook and some white sparkly yarn, and started making a starfish. At the next stop, a woman got on the bus at the front, shepherding two small children in front of her, a girl about eight, and a younger boy. The mom and boy found a seat, but the girl chose to stand near the rear door and hang on to the railing. We made eye contact, and I went back to my starfish. She spied the yarn and crochet hook in my hands, and stared. I smiled at her and she looked from me to the yarn and back to me, then smiled back shyly. I finished one starfish, knotted the yarn and snipped the tails. She watched. I started the second starfish, my hook flying in my hands. Still she watched, inching closer, now her hands sometimes absently reaching up as if to touch the yarn. We were about halfway to my stop by then. I finished the second piece, then quickly stitched them together to make a solid sparkly starfish. As I snipped the final yarn and pulled each leg to straighten it, she watched, mouth wide open, then looked at my eyes, her own wide with amazement. I reach over the chrome railing and handed it to her. Suddenly the bus slowed down for the next stop. She hesitated just a moment, then took the starfish in her hand just as her mom and brother swooped up from their seats to usher her out the now-open rear door. As the doors closed and the bus began moving again, I looked out the window just in time to see her holding the starfish in both hands, and she looked up at me and waved, smiling.