Wednesday, May 28, 2008

That Boy Sure Can Knit

I read craft blogs for many different reasons: inspiration, amazing photography, camaraderie, and information to name a few. There are a few blogs out there that combine, to an art, all of these reasons. Brooklyn Tweed is the lighthouse to those few. There is a quality to his photos that makes me believe no matter what chaos might lurk behind the photographer, a divine serenity is all his lens can capture. I admire his use of light and bokeh. Jared's knitting is made only more beautiful by his photos. I know he pours thought, patience, and skill into every stitch. A perfect example is his Striped Vest in Handspun and Recycled Tweed. I have no words. I do, however, have handspun thanks to Marmee and plenty of inspiration thanks to Jared.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Blackberry Socks

Pattern: Swirly O from The Knitter's Book of Yarn
Yarn: Lorna's Laces in blackberry gifted by Wooly Headed
Needles: US # 1 dpn

I used a rib cuff rather than the picot. I stopped the pattern at the foot and used an eye of the partridge heel stitch. The pattern is stretchy so these would be a great gift knit. I love the feel and color of the Lorna's Laces and look forward to cooler weather so I can wear these regularly.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I am this close to a finished pair of socks. Until then, I will follow Cassi's lead and post a photo and quote. Have a great weekend!

No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength. Jack Kerouac

Monday, May 19, 2008

West Coast Wool

Larkin sent me a sweet little hank of her own hand spun. My daughter took one look and declared the purple with sparkly bits to be hers. I am knitting her a "princess" headband. Thank you!
Another package full o' wool arrived from Knit Picks. The black, gray, and natural DK merino will be for my Warm Shawl from Knitting the Classics, the stripey sock yarn is Felici in Schooner which is much more yellow than the catalog picture suggests. Very pretty, but a bit misleading. The navy blue is Comfy in Planetarium for a sweater I have yet to decide on, and lastly, the yellow Comfy is for a baby gift. I ordered just one skein to check out the color. Wee people look good in yellow. I really want to knit a mini Stella. Wouldn't that be the cutest on a round baby noggin?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Six ( or more) Things

Meka Leka Hi Meka Hiney Ho everyone! Camp Pneuma has transitioned from my mind to the page and we are looking forward to a summer full of informative field trips, arts and crafts, and good times. And ice cream. Lots of ice cream.

I've set up 10 themed weeks, for example:
Animals- trip to the zoo, making masks out of cereal boxes, coloring pages
Nature- hikes, Botanical Gardens, bird watching, flower picking, growing sugar crystals
Hunting- scavenger hunts , pirate treasure map hunts, making secret spy messages
Astronomy- planetarium, make a Pluto inclusive planet mobile, search for constellations

...and the list goes on. Since this is my camp, the kids are aware that I have the inalienable right to knit before/during/after excursions. They are ok with that as long as I don't forget the ice cream. Of course I am aware they are 2 and 4 and this camp plan can/will/inevitably go out the window, but they are so worth any small disappointments I may incur.

I was tagged by Tammy ! Here is even more stuff you don't want to know about me:

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer."
1) What was I doing 10 years ago? Working 14 hour days, wishing I wasn't alone.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order): Grocery store, craft store, potluck dinner at park with playgroup, turn the heel on my sock, wishing I was alone.

3) Snacks I enjoy: salty cashews, cheese dip and chips, olive tapenade on crusty bread.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Professionally landscape my yard, buy out the fast food joint going in down the road and turn it into something useful like a Starbucks or bagel place, buy my husband that Airstream he dreams about, pay off my brothers' student loans.

5) Places I have lived: Georgia, Missouri, Alabama, The Cliffs of Insanity

6) Jobs I have had: Retail Manager, Pharmacy Tech

7) 6 peeps I wanna know more about: I should be in bed so consider yourself tagged!

Blackberry Socks

I couldn't wait to cast on with the Lorna's Laces. I am using the Swirly O's pattern from the Knitter's Book of Yarn, but skipped the picot cuff. The table runner grows at a steady pace. Today is my daughter's last day of preschool. I am feeling bittersweet about it. So, to keep my mind off the bus (!) that will carry my baby off next fall, I am planning a home based summer camp for my kids. I'll give more details about Camp Pneuma in a few days. Let's just say I have activities and themes weeks lined up. I'm thinking I'll even go so far as to make little merit badges...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

When My Personalities Collide

Those who blog will understand my title. This past week I experienced what can only be described as a trifecta of lifestyles; a perfect storm of the various parts of me (blogger, friend, and everyday gal.)

First, I am an avid learner, a curious cat, NPR and PBS are my life blood. Secondly, I love written correspondence and send letters to a friend of mine who also shares my enthusiasm for knowledge. I can dash off an obscure thought knowing he will identify in some way. Thirdly, I blog and read blogs. Now, these separate parts of myself usually never meet. I mean, the thoughts and actions are all mine, but what I write in my letters, discuss in my everyday conversations, and read on my blogs are usually independent of each other. Until last week.

I had a niggling worm of an idea to visit Franklin, TN. I talked to my husband about taking a quick weekend trip to visit the battle site, Carnton Plantation, and the cemetery. I had read The Widow of the South last summer and loved it. A few days passed and in my stomach swirled the idea of Franklin. I couldn't shake it. I stayed up until 2 am on Monday morning writing a letter to my friend about my experiences over the past few days. This is how all of my letters to him are formed- they are visceral, gnawing me from the inside out until I write them down and mail them off. Is creativity like labor pains for anyone else?

I put the letter in the mail Monday morning and that evening I checked my blogs. Wooly Headed posted a photo of a cemetery and offered a prize of yarn for the first to identify the cemetery she had just visited. I knew immediately. I was the only one who guessed correctly and am the proud recipient of this glorious Lorna's Laces in blackberry. Apparently the universe is making sure I visit Franklin ( it knows I'll listen for yarn). I have no idea why and may not know for a lifetime, but the collision of these different parts of myself over one relatively unknown battle fought 144 years ago must mean something. When I told my husband about all of this later that day, he asked if I was there in a past life. Maybe. The idea is intriguing, to say the least.

If you would like to read the letter I sent my friend, go here. This is an approximation of the actual letter, since I am leaving out identifying names and didn't make a copy. This new blog is another product of gnawing creativity and I don't know that I will post to it much at all, but whenever I need to share my long thoughts, I'll add them there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dressing the Furniture

Don't worry, he's not dead, just asleep. This was the best Mother's Day present ever... a 2 year old space ranger that ran himself silly and fell asleep way before bedtime. A few weeks ago, my husband and I made a list of the things we needed this season. My list was simple: the $5 sunglasses I saw at Target, yarn, and tequila. Well, I picked up the glasses last week on a diaper run, ordered myself some yarn a few days ago, and my sweetie surprised me with a big bottle of tequila to satisfy those margarita on the rocks cravings. I am set for summer... or this afternoon ;)

The yarn I ordered is for next month's project, so in the meantime I am going to bore you all with 240 more repeats of this. The pattern is Chinese Waves Dishcloth from Maggie's Rags but I am making a table runner. I am finally going to use up the acrylic yarn in my stash that is a beautiful linen color. This stitch pattern is super simple and very pretty.

Next, I will be making the Warm Shawl from Veronik Avery's book, Knitting Classic Style. I am making this to drape elegantly around my shoulders while I sip a glass of wine in my adirondak chair, watching the sun set, bathed in the glow from the copper fire pit . Ok, that was a total fantasy, but the shawl will be real, I promise.
Thank You for all of the compliments on my Pi shawl! I am humbled by the knitterly love.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Small Slice of Pi

Pattern: Pi Shawl (July) by Elizabeth Zimmerman in the Knitter's Almanac
Yarn: Fearless Fibers superwash merino in Deepest Forest and Baby Silk (color 2308) from Elann
Needles: US #4 circular and DPN

I made a small shawlette size that is just right to pin around me but keep my arms free. The construction of the shawl is based on the mathematical constant pi, so here are the notes in numerical terms:
440 yards of sock yarn
273 yards of alpaca/silk for border
50,040 stitches
213 quilting pins to block the shape
40 inch diameter
1 very happy knitter

Monday, May 5, 2008

Practical Affairs

I am practically finished with the Pi shawl. I am using the knit on garter border EZ recommends and again, her genius amazes. That being said, the border will consist of 14, 976 stitches in fingering weight silk. So I will give you some other practical information to enjoy in the mean time. ( Note the clever Project Spectrum theme)

Big Brown practically kicked the other horses hind quarters in the Derby.

Ever wondered what your weight in gold would be? Find out here.

Jane Austen had an eye for the practical even in the face of death. I love the lighthearted rhythm to this otherwise gloomy observation.

Miss Lloyd has now went to Miss Green

Miss Lloyd has now sent to Miss Green,
As, on opening the box, may be seen,
Some years of a Black Ploughman's Gauze,
To be made up directly, because Miss Lloyd must in mourning appear
For the death of a Relative dear--
Miss Lloyd must expect to receive
This license to mourn and to grieve,
Complete, ere the end of the week--
It is better to write than to speak.