Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Le Petite Knock-Off

I just couldn't leave you for the holiday weekend with only a post about communicable diseases to remember me by now could I? Say hello to my new best friend:

Pattern: Anthro-Ispired Scarflet by Yorkiegirl (rav link)
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK in mist , held doubled , 2 skeins
Needles: US# 9 straights

Yorkiegirl did those that covet anthropologie a tremendously good turn by designing this scarf to mimic the Le Petite Scarf. She will have the pattern up as soon as she can on Ravelry. The scarf is quick, reversible, and snugly. The ends tuck into each other so the scarflet stays put which is wonderful. The apex of gaucherie might be when your strapless dress slides off, causing you to hunch and pull so many times the DJ thinks you are requesting the chicken dance, but accessories sliding into your hummus is a close second. I knit this in two nights and am planning many more. The only modification I made was to knit the body to 17" so I could wrap it over the thick wool collar of my coat.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Honey and Salt

This photo was the last I took since Thursday. There are a large number of geese that stay in our little park year round, but come late November, hundreds more stop by for the winter. This group was noisy, honking and calling, pushy and rambunctious, creating a stir in the more sedate locals on the lake shore. We all have those relatives don't we?
Right after I took this shot, my eyes began to water. I thought I was just cold. Little did I suspect that by the time I got home, I would be ravaged by a disease so debilitating it could easily end the manufacture of arms, wmd's, chemical agents, and eye liner. Yes, that infection that causes your own doctor to take a step back (!) as soon as you remove your chic sunglasses and reveal... conjunctivitis. It's pretty name is pink eye. As far as euphemisms go that one doesn't come close to masking the ugly truth. I am on the mend after ophthalmic antibiotic drops (which should be over the counter), constant hand washing, cotton ball compresses of warm water and honey, and tons of self pity.
Finally last night, while my husband and children were off at a party I was sad to miss, I popped in Like Water for Chocolate, picked up my needles, poured a glass of Mad Housewife, and cried my eyes out for poor Tita. The crying healed me. My salty tears and the honey water compresses worked their natural magic. I am able to knit, read, and leave the house again. Thanksgiving indeed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Celtic Braid Bookmark

Pattern: my own based on this chart by Sarah Bradberry
Needles: US #1 dpn
Yarn: Karabella Lace Merino
I modified the chart from the afghan square pattern to create one braid with a 3 stitch garter border. This used up the exact yardage leftover from one sock, so I have enough to make another in this color. This was relatively quick since it is small, but the pattern is detailed enough that I had to keep track of the chart as I went. Great for gifts. Make one for yourself and one for your favorite bibliophile!
I have published the pattern for Reid's Woolen Hat. The link to the pdf is on the sidebar as well as on Ravelry. I made a typo (an asterisk was out of place) in the original upload, so double check you have the newest version before knitting it. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.
I am designing a pattern for stranded mitts but will not have that posted until the new year since I suddenly seem to be socially active and can't even find time to finish the sock I have on the needles. When it rains, it pours.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our Charming Gardener

A couple of weeks ago, my Step Grandmother, Dorothy, passed away. She was one of those souls that never meets a stranger. Five years ago Dot knit a blanket for my first born. It was the last thing she ever knit. Her hands were wracked with arthritis and she had to put her needles down. Being generous, she sent all of her needles to me, even though I could barely knit or purl. Included were a few pattern books for baby blankets and tucked into its pages were envelopes and scraps of paper with scratch marks, line counts, and notes. To a knitter this ephemera are precious patterns in themselves; the maps of an artist's mind. Her gift changed my life. I wouldn't be sharing here if she had not countered her sacrifice with generosity.

I will miss Dot, although for me she will never be gone; she is with me in every stitch I make, every gift I give, every person I make feel loved. Dot's light shines brightly in the twinkling eyes and cheshire grins of her children and grandchildren. I hope in their grieving they know their Mother's spark burns brightly in the hearts of every one she met. Let us all live by that standard.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." Marcel Proust

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reid's Woolen Hat

Pattern: my own
Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Style in hollyberry
Needles: US size #5 dpn's

Reid is a friend of the family, a little guy that has the singular gift of being able to capture your heart and not let go. When his mom casually mentioned needing to buy him a hat, well, do you think I could bear his sweet noggin being clothed in anything less than hand knit love? So, after a few hours of knitting this is Reid's ticket to warm this season.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


A short walk from my house there is a fishing pond with green water full of catfish the size of my leg. On the north side hangs a swing, just a couple ropes and a board, enticing me to linger here and ponder things. I am drawn to swings and bridges, those spaces that are liminal, meaning they are neither here nor there. On the swing I am not on the ground, not in the sky. I am on the threshold between the world beneath my feet and the world above my head. Liminal spaces are perfect for ruminating and seeing your surroundings with new eyes, fresh intention, and a sense of possibility. For instance, how many of you noticed what time I took the picture?

I've heard that you can spot a tourist because they are always looking up. An inhabitant never looks up; presumably they have seen it all before, there is nothing new to bother with. I am determined to be a tourist in this life I inhabit. For too long, I've found myself shuffling along, assuming the world around me was never going to change, never would there be anything new to see. But today I feel different. I want to thank the person who hung that crooked wooden swing. If they hadn't acted with selflessness, I wouldn't have looked up to see the beauty that exists when you leave your cynicism on the ground and let your soul take wing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To See Beauty Stiffened

The Death Of Autumn

When reeds are dead and a straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like aged warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe, and over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,—
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that Beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,—but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn! Autumn!—What is the Spring to me?

Edna St. Vincent Millay