Monday, June 30, 2003

Ennervated

I don't know what's up - such an odd frame of mind I'm in. Busy and bored, running and standing still; is it the weather? Hormones? I'm having a lot of stress for a variety of reasons and my mind is racing in directions it really shouldn't go. I need a bit of a break because I think I'm rushing toward a slight breakdown.

I got some bad financial news a few days ago - a shock, but not a surprise - it will take me a few days to get back to myself. The good news is that we're in the process of refinancing so we can help ourselves out of the pickle, the bad news is that we even had to get in it. I blame myself in many ways - while I was sick last year and relatively useless we got deeper in debt than I'd realized. I hate this economy. I hate sliding down. I don't mind frugality, I'm a very frugal person, but how I crave the ability to stay awake for more than 4 hours at a time right now.

Off to put the hooks and eyes on the colorwork - then off to IK. Should I send it 3-day? [evil grin]

Oh - I submitted a proposal to a competition - here's a look at the rendered idea of my sculpture


here's a look at my sketch of the finished sculpture
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Saturday, June 28, 2003

Dean

You all know I like Dean. I like his honesty and straight talk, and I like the fact that he is supported by a true grass roots movement. I'm starting a Knitters 4 Dean movement - grab your needles, make a donation to his campaign if you're so inclined, and celebrate democracy in action!

I've also added a "Shroud of Turin" knitalong button in case you're tempted to court the wrath of - well - you fill in the blank. Go ahead and steal the button - have fun and enjoy!
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Trust

I don't trust folks who use eternity terms. This is a remnant of my Freshman English class with Tony Stoneburner at Denison, U in Ohio. He used to intone in his former-Methodist Minister voice, "Never use eternity terms..." In my earnestness the irony was lost on me.

My mother is a great believer in eternity terms. She'll talk about her mother as someone who was, "always loved by everyone", or about her own school experience as being, "always happy - it seemed that everyone liked me."

Now don't get me wrong - I know my grandmother was an extraordinary woman, and I also know that my mother's rural 1920's West Virginia childhood - while perhaps not as idyllic as she remembers - was certainly light years ahead of my own suburban level of hell in Toledo, OH.

I prefer Lincoln's take on the subject, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." or - as Dr. Stoneburner would say, "Only God can use eternity terms"

I've been feeling at odd ends lately and rather introspective. I think it's because the colorwork's taken so long that my mind is wandering into places it generally doesn't go on shorter knitting projects.

I've come to believe that knitting is a high form of meditation - at it's best an opportunity to mix rhythmic motion with measurable results. This happy combination allows the mind to wander far and wide while the hands count off how long the mind has been roaming the landscape of the brain. A physical manifestation of concentrated thought.

A few of you have asked where the colorwork will be seen - at this point it's slated for the Winter 2004 Interweave Knits mag. Last night I finished the last sleeve, sewed them in the armseyes and the last thing I need to do is pick up the stitches around the inside of the armseye to create a nice seam binding. Here's a glimpse of it on the mannequin (this is right off the needles, it could use a bit of blocking):


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Thursday, June 26, 2003

I saw this quiz on Bess's blog and had to do it - the biggest problem I have with it (aside from the cutsey questions) is that the author assumes that no one would use nice metal needles. And I'm not a grandma. Not yet.

I am feeling very old today. Or is it just blue? Maybe too hot? Maybe envious of a group of knitters chillin' by a lake? I want something good to happen to me. I want a nicely tied box to fall out of the sky. Sheesh.

However, I did get my copy of Harry Potter today and sat down to read 77 pages immediately. That was nice.

Granny knitter
You may not be a granny, but you've got the mentality. Hard work and artistic vision lead to your beautiful knitted results.

Are you a knitter?
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Nice Class

Yesterday was the first of a 6-part bag class at Knit & Stitch in Maplewood - what a nice class! Two of the women weren't able to be there - they'll catch up next week - but the women who were there selected their yarns (lots of cotton), picked out needles and started knitting away!

The bags will be small bags, but that's precious and nice in a summery way - and since it's a gauge-less project they can always make a larger one by doubling their yarn or using a thicker fiber!

I'm stupid with this heat, and it's only going to get hotter! I preferred the rain.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

New Class Starts Today

And it's my first time teaching at the new yarn store in Maplewood, Knit & Stitch over the movie theatre on Maplewood Avenue

I'm looking forward to the class - it's the sample bag class and I just finished a session last week. I always learn so much when I teach! This past session I learned that the hemp bags take slightly longer than the wool to work up (makes sense, wool knits faster on the whole than hemp does...)

I also learned - or reinforced to myself - that synchronized knitting is not the best teaching route. Everyone knits so differently - some are speedy in texture but laborious in lace, some folks are detail oriented and some just want to get the project done. Some folks have a hard time being happy with the stuff they knit -even if it's beautiful! - and need some gentle nudging to remind them what an amazing thing they've done by creating a beautiful and useful item with their own hands and imagination.

Maybe I'll start this class by asking each person to knit up a swatch - just to see how they knit? The bottom of the bag is like a big swatch - worked in garter - we should get through that today...
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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

It's an illusion

Peggy (Patty? - I can't get into my comments to check) asked me a few entries back about illusion knitting.

For anyone who hasn't been visiting the knitting lists in the past few years, illusion knitting is a technique whereby you create an image that is only visible when viewed by the side. You create this image by working alternatively in two colors in garter and reverse stockinette stitch.

Here's a good website I found about knitting machines and illusion knitting, although the technique works for hand knitting, too.

I posted a chart to knit a shroud of turin using the illusion knitting method. Whether you think this is sacreligeious or just silly fun is up to you. Marilyn aka, KC is having a Shroud of Turin Knitalong. I'm smiling!

I'm waiting for my copy of the new Harry Potter to arrive. Yes, I've read them all and I love them. I have my 6 year old daughter convinced that I'm Mrs. Weasely (red hair, knits all the time, motherly, slightly overweight, red-headed kids...) and, by extension, Hannah's POSITIVE that when she's 11 she'll get an invitation to Hogwarts. I'd love to go with her.

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Monday, June 23, 2003

Too Wet to Write

This has been one WET weekend. Yipes. It's been raining hard and finally - TODAY - we have sun. We couldn't get sun when we were having the major, multi-family yard sale - NO! Oh well, be happy for it when it's here, right?

It's supposed to get up to the upper 80's, which seems unbelievable given how chilly (yet sunny) it is right now!

I've finished the body of the colorwork - placket, facings, collar - now I'm just making the sleeves and they're slow-ish going. This was due last week, I'm officially late now. Hate that.

We had an EXCEPTIONAL bag class on Sat. Of my 5 students only 2 were able to make it - although I have to say that it was an extra-curricular class (not on the original schedule) so several of my class members hadn't intended on coming. We finished the two bags of the attending class members and they looked AMAZING! I'm SO proud of Ami and Janine - and Brenda and Sharon and Lisa (come by, let's finish!!) You women ROCK - we need to have lunch with our bags!
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Friday, June 20, 2003

EEEEK!

I steeked the front of the colorwork last night - plus the armholes. Sewed up the shoulders and I'm not thrilled with the seam (the 3 needle bind off just wasn't cutting it with all of the colorwork....) However, I am very happy with the front placket - it's coming along nicely and is sort of mindless knitting (no chart!) I worked a facing inside to cover up the ugly cut edge - it looks great!



The corrugated rib in on size 3's
the rolled edge and facing are on size 2's


I'll start the sleeves today - I'll knit them in the round, even though I so much prefer working on straights. Every one is different, I guess, and there's been so much vocal chatter about how great knitting in the round is. I enjoyed working the body of this sweater in the round because the colorwork is so complex that purling it seemed like more headache than it was worth. However, dealing with increases and all of the chart changes is something I'm not relishing on circs (I find it easy to lose my place when working increases.) Plus I'm just so much faster on straights.

I'll ponder this for a bit.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2003

I don't mind the rain...

Yes, it's true. After 40 days and 40 nights I still like the rain. I'm insane, I know...

This morning boychick came into our bedroom, starkers, and said, "You know - you know - when you're not wearing any clothes your butt and belly are a trampoline for your toys!" Then proceeded to demonstrate this fact.

This entry will be archived and reproduced in time for the first date of aforementioned boychick.

And, to give equal time to our little girl, here's a picture she drew in school a few days ago. Guess who?


Those big red things are earrings
all in all a good likeness ;)
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Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Feast or Famine

I either publish lengthy, wordy entries on consecutive days or ignore you good folks altogether. I guess that's okay, it keeps the blog centered on what I had intended - the rhythm of my knitting life.

We're having a yard sale this weekend - it's a multi family affair and it's to raise money to pay for the recent campaign of our friend who ran for Village President (I guess the fact we're opening our garage up to the public is a sign that we lost the election...) Gerry actually volunteered our house for the sale, thus it's his job to clean the garage and prepare us for the fête.

Of course, this is the only week in the past few months where he's working EVERY DAY so that slows down his progress - that plus the major toothache he's dealing with. Poor Gerry. He was at the dentist on Friday, started feeling pain on Saturday night and saw the dentist again yesterday morning - infected. He picked up his antibiotics on the way to work last evening (he's doing the evening shift at Fox - Teleprompter) and I'm hopeful that his pain will have abated somewhat. Toothache pain is the WORST!

While waiting for the yarn last week I worked up a little lace dress for my friend's baby girl - I'm also thinking of making her one of my Aline bags in pink and green (the color of the annoucement) for MOM - babies get everything!


A dress for little Samantha
Euroflax Linen - Washable!


for marilyn...
I haven't tried this out yet, but if my calcuations are correct it should give you an illusion knitting shroud of turin

Suitable for any washcloth. Go forth and knit - then let me know if it works out...
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Friday, June 13, 2003

Like Wendy

I want to be like Wendy. I have a pixie, too. Enjoy!


I had to digitally enhance mine to make her - well - zaftig.
make one here
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Yarn Update...

The box is here -the yarn is the same dyelot as the sample ball so I'm golden. So is the yarn!


Here's the box.
Note the 3 day label. Yowza.
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Girl!

A very dear friend of mine who moved to Hong Kong a few years ago and now lives in Japan had a little girl. A sweet little girl named Samantha. You have to understand that she already had two great boys - so different and so sweet - but this is the kind of woman who longs for a daughter, and now she has one! I'm so happy for her I could cry!

I'm knitting up a pinkish-peachish linen kimono-style dress to send on to her (photos as I finish - I'm just at the hem right now...) I am in love with Louet's Euroflax Linen. It's so great to work with, the colors are exceptional and it MACHINE WASHES! Can one ask any more than that?



On the 'just plain silly' front
I found this great site
http://www.acme.com/licensemaker/
for making plates at
Maggiestitches blog


Also...

Remember a few days ago when I mentioned that the Cambridge Artists Coop had returned my submissions so I assumed I wasn't in the show? Well, I was right. I got a call last night from someone at the Coop. However, they ARE interested in carrying my hats in their gallery for sale, so that was nice to hear. In addition to knitting up the kimono (and the colorwork...) I'll be working up a few hats to send on. Love hats.

And finally...

Remember the colorwork (photos below) Well, it's for a magazine, it's a GREAT editorial opportunity for the yarn company that's supplying the yarn, the deadline is next week and I STILL don't have one of the colors!! I've been using my swatching ball (a no-no, but since the colors are separated by bands of other colors I took the risk) but at this point I'm STILL WAITING for the light yellow to arrive. A few days ago I heard from the editorial assitant, "They DO have the yarn, you'll have it Friday..." FRIDAY? I asked her why they couldn't just overnight it and she wasn't sure - possibly something to do with tracking down the yarn, yada yada yada.

The real reason? It costs the yarn company less to send it 3 day - and they'd rather save $20 than give me three extra days to knit up this very complex sweater. This is a big, reputable company with terrific yarn - and they're not alone in this! That's why I have a three day break to knit up a baby sweater for a friend. Next week is hell week - my husband's working 7 evenings straight and the kids are out of school - bad time to have to fiddle with a complex color pattern AND worry about sleeve cap shaping and steeking. Oy. (I know, 'quit yer bitchin... you're lucky to have this life...')
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Thursday, June 12, 2003

Link me, baby!

I just updated my links page - lots more stuff. Kind of disorganized in an organized way, but hopefully the scattered-ness will make sifting through it a fun enterprise! I've put all of my fellow/sister bloggers up there (if you're missing, email me and I'll add you...) plus a TON of interesting knitting and non-knitting related stuff. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I'm RICH!

At least, I would be if I cut all of my needles up and sold them for bracelets. Check this out!

Actually, I think it's kind of neat - but at $170 it's a little too rich for my aluminium blood. Hell, I won't even spring for more than $6 for a circ needle - but I'm a trifle parsimonious. However, if you're feeling flush and want to get this for some blogger you're sweet on, order Linda Seebauer's bracelet here.

Oh - and a word about the colorwork I keep posting ... It's for an editoral, my own design (I like to work up my own stuff when it's intricate), and I'd probably better stop uploading photos of it because it's going beyond the "hey - look at this swatch!" stage. Sorry, dear readers, you'll have to buy the mag to see it again in a full shot (but I reserve the right to post detail shots here) I'll keep you posted on what issue and what mag it's running in.
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... that's the way our sweater grows...

Here's the latest update - I have to run - late for a dr. appt for dear Hannah (follow up on the infected knee)



I kind of like the unblocked
textured look!
32,760 sts & counting...


later that night...
I just ran across this great site. I like the graphic - it makes me think of a very chic prison - perhaps where Martha's going? Let me just say I'm AMAZED that the mug shot taken yesterday hasn't turned up on the cover of the POST yet.

It's been helpful as I figure out how to place the stripes on the sleeves for this cardigan so that they match nicely with the stripes in the body. And in 4 sizes. This part can be tricky.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Knitting & Math

Here's a terrific article
that I found on Lisa's blog - I love stuff like this! Thanks for posting it, Lisa!

Continuing with the colorwork - here it is thus far...


s l o w l y - it creeps up
just about time for
the armhole shaping


Also, I've worked up this chart reader helper that you might find interesting - I cut a slit in the folder where I keep all paperwork on this design, then pull the complex colorwork chart out row by row so I can follow it quite easily. Here's an animated image of how it works.


It's amazing how it's helped
my speed on this project!
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Monday, June 09, 2003

... row by row ...

Didn't get a lot knit yesterday due to the Brownie Barbeque, but it was a lot of fun (thanks Dana - you are a SENSATIONAL hostess!) - now that madness is pretty much finished for the school year and we can start concentrating on OTHER madnesses.

I had sent a submission to the Cambridge Artists Coop art to wear competition. I just got my package back in a different box, some of it had been opened, some not, with a return address label on the box from the Cambridge Artists Coop but no note or letter inside. I'm assuming this means I won't be part of the show, but a letter or something confirming this would be nice! Odd.

Here's the colorwork thus far -


not as much progress as yesterday
but I did set in 2 pockets
and work up the welts

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Saturday, June 07, 2003

...inch by inch...

It's rare that I post daily progress like this - I'm usually doing about 12 projects at a time (no joke) so I don't spend a lot of time monitoring my progress on an individual piece.

However, this one is different. Yes, it's for editorial, but I'm loving working it up SO much - last night I finished 30 more rows and here's how it looks now:


208 x 30 = 6,240 sts yesterday


I'm STILL waiting for the yellow color - the yarn I've used so far is from the swatching skeins. I figure if it's off slightly in dye lot it will be inconsequential because it will be separated by 30 rows from any other usage of the yellow - and I really DO have to start cranking this because time is short.

On a personal note (Oh, for heaven's sake, who am I kidding - it's all a personal note!) it's raining to day - cats and dogs - which means NO HIKE! I feel ashamed for being happy about this - and I do love to hike - but I'm just overwhelmed with the sense of worry over my scouts on the hike. Responsibility for other folks kids is rough.
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Friday, June 06, 2003

Teensy, tiny, needles...

Yes, I know that many of you work on quad-oughts (0000's) needles, but I seldom ramble far below a US 5. Here I am doing an entire CARDIGAN on size 3's (3-1/4mm) and it's making me slightly nuts. Lots of colorwork. Here's a shot of the start (I did this last night) Let's all see how fast Annie can work this baby up because she's on deadline with it!


280 sts, 10 rows so far...


The comments are back - yahoo! And I'm looking forward to the next KNITTY because - yes - once again I have a pattern in it! Yahoo again!

Yesterday was Maxie's preschool graduation - I cried - and in the afternoon was his Kindergarden orientation - I didn't cry.


Here's my little man in his Talbot's Kids disco suit and his most amazing preschool teacher!


Hannah fell and hurt her knee this weekend and - as mentioned in the previous entry - it's infected. The medicine seems to be working, but it's still sore. She fell on it yesterday and it was PAINFUL for the poor thing. Today is Field Day at her school and it's also Max's school picnic so I'm keeping Han out (she's not going to miss anything but sitting on the sidelines all day while the other kids get to play the games she can't) - she can go to the park with us and swing at least!

Somehow in the midsts of this I have to get more knitting done. Yipes!
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Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Blackout

Did you ever have one of those mornings when you wake up and think, 'This is going to be a nice, slow day - no deadlines today, no places I must be - this is a day for me...' Then you get out of bed and remember that you're a mom?

When I went into Max's room to wake him I noticed his bed had a HUGE wet spot all over the quilt. First I thought he'd had an accident, but then I realized he was wearing pullups so how much can one boy pee? The fact that the outside of the quilt was more wet than the sheets was the tip-off that the 41 days of rain we've had has come through the roof and we have a major leak over Max's bed. Ironically, we had 4 roofing guys give us estimates this week.

Then I went into Hannah's room and discovered her nursing her knee - the knee she fell on a few days ago - the knee she'd scraped badly and I'd peroxided and neo-sporined until she cried. Well, it's infected. Badly infected. So we kept her home for a visit to the doctor and, as we were enjoying a fine breakfast of Life cereal the power went out.

It was out all day until 6:15 pm. Unfortunately our sump pump is powered by the electric, so we had a quasi-flooded basement. Tense day.

Big box of yarn arrived for my next project. It's late - way late - and the sweater is major colorwork to be knit on (drumroll) size 3 needles. Oh, but wait - one of the colors is missing! An email from the magazine (I finally got to read my emails at 7:00 pm) said that the yarn company is "searching" for the missing color and hopes to send it to me "shortly" They also though they could "wrangle" an extension on my deadline. Oh, baby.

Saturday is the Brownie hike in South Mountain Reservation. Rumor has it that our meeting point is also where there will be a Renaissance Festival so finding the other Brownies will be very, very difficult. I'm the leader. Please, please, please rain on Saturday.
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Monday, June 02, 2003

Bamboo

As some of you who read this blog know, I've been a little obsessed with bamboo lately. Not the needles, the fiber. I acquired some at Habu Textiles in NYC a few months ago and it's been sitting in my odds and ends box waiting for me to come up with something.

Well, I have.


here's just a tiny bit - more to come when I work out the design a bit better...


It's an idea I've had for years - a knitted lampshade - and I know they're out there. I want mind to be a complete lamp, self contained, something you could hang several of at a party for an amazing lighting effect, or take to the park for a nice evening pic-nic, etc. The bamboo has the heat resistance I think I need - especially with a VERY small light bulb. More to come later!

I also have some spun pine fibers from Habu. I've been thinking they'd be terrific in my Universal Chair Seat - I'm working up a new lace pattern - "stalk of bamboo" - in which to work the seat up. Maybe I should make a pine lace?


Here's the chairseat in nylon twine using the Stalk of Wheat pattern



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Sunday, June 01, 2003

Lost Tooth!

Well, it was inevitable. My little baby girl has lost her baby tooth and is not a baby anymore. She's actually a little older than most of her friends who've already lost teeth, but in some way it's too soon for me.


A little montage of my toothless girlie...


The Tooth Fairy left her a teeny beanie baby (Flip the cat) and a dollar. She is thrilled. Gerry said, "This is better for her than CHRISTMAS!" I won't bring up the fact here that we're raising our kids Jewish.

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Alison's Scarf
Link to pdf file of cable/trellis lace scarf


Hannah's Poncho
Link to pdf file of multi-sized poncho



Chullo-licious


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