Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Yikes! Its been a week!

But, I've been working hard. I offer as evidence the long-promised picture of the Landscape Shawl. It is about a foot in length and about 18 inches wide, unblocked. It is up to 146 stitches on size 4 needles and I am about to start the third section, which I believe is stockinette stitch. It does show off the lovely Cherry-Tree Hill hand-dyed yarn, doesn't it? Anyway, this week has seemed really busy with everyone going a million different directions at once. Thus, no blogging for me. I got a fun pattern from she to whom I am secret pal and I did cast on a string bag in the sport weight version of Sugar N Cream cotton. It is going along quickly. I am trying to decide what to take on the Memorial Day visit to the Chicago side of the family. We leave tomorrow and will have a grand total of 24 hours in the car during the weekend. If I play my cards right, with four drivers in the family, I may not have to drive at all and can get lots of good knitting done. I might as well since I can't read in the car. Sometimes I can't knit either, but I can often pull that off. The big bonus this week was a surprise visit from Sister-in-Law Amy and Nephew Owen. I'll put a photo of him up soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Knitting Friendships

I spent a lovely afternoon with a group of women to whom my first contact was knitting. 6 of us had a wonderful afternoon tea at Tea on the Tiber in fabulous downtown Historic Ellicott City, Maryland. 3 of them were former students. They no longer need my help with their knitting, and frankly, what can be more satisfying to a teacher? Wow. They are all in the next phase of life from me, from 10-15 years older, but we get along so well. I sat there just amazed at what my knitting life has brought me and how enriched I feel every day because of my pointy sticks and my string. I made lots of progress on the Landscape shawl-photos are forthcoming-I want to see my progress. This is serious deadline knitting, and I don't want to leave it to the last minute. I will have to have it done by early August.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

No knitting today, but another request from mom for arm covers,which are just long, fingerless gloves. I think I'll use Brown Sheep Cotton Fine because she wants them thin. I am going to swatch with the Elann Esprit though, and see what she thinks, because it has the lycra. We had 18 over for dinner which was really nice. My family came through with flying colors on the Mother's day celebrating and I scored breakfast in bed as well as a brand new copy of the Oxford Book of American Poetry. Sheesh, just reading the introduction has been a mind-expanding experience.

One Skein, etc.

The One Skein Secret Pal exchange is underway, and I am very excited. I have received lovely correspondence from both my secret pal and she to whom I am secret pal. Big fun! in the process of writing out my answers to the yarn personality profile questions, I rediscovered how much my stash leans toward a particular color group, so I thought I'd try to capture it. You would think I would be tired of taking pictures as I just spent the evening as official photographer at our church spring formal, but here I am at midnight taking photos of yarn. Oh well. My two classes today went great-both groups were engaged and willing to try things. The Fixing mistakes class is one of my favorites to teach because one can almost palpably feel the confidence level increase.
So many aha moments! The hat class got off to a good start as well. I am into the second section of the Landscape and now have yarn for all my fall projects. Let the knitting begin!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Writing to write

The socks below are almost done. I have started the landscape shawl for the fall newsletter. It will be a big knit, but the merino laceweight, dyed by Cherry Tree Hill, is really nice to work with. It has cast on picots at the beginning of the 3rd and 4th row of every repeat, which give a really unique edge. I like it. I am determined to spend an hour designing tomorrow-something, anything...swatching with my new Elsa Cormo yarn, sketching, dreaming. More to come.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Matching Socks???

These are my current socks-in-progress. They are made from Austermann Step(the one with aloe and jojoba oil right in the yarn) in color 06. The yarn does have a soft hand, rather like Puffs with Lotion. I don't notice it as I'm knitting, so it is not overwhelming. Anyway, the reason for the photo while in-progress is that they match! I have never made a pair of matching socks with self-striping yarns. I like the fraternal twin look. Not realizing this yarn is (apparently) engineered to match as long as one is making a medium sized woman's sock, I finished the first sock, did my kitchener toe without even thinking about it and cast on for the second sock in the most care-free frame of mind. When I finished the leg and started the heel, I got out sock #1 to measure and noticed that they were matching, like, exactly...I mean to the row. So, not thaaat big a deal, but it was a nice surprise to me. BTW, I pulled the yarn from the center of the skein. I am now really curious if they would have matched had I pulled the yarn from around the outside of the ball.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Latest for Mom

Here I am with my folks and 3 of my siblings. If you look closely, you can see Mom's latest arm covers. They turned out really nicely, and it still gives me a bittersweet warm fuzzy every time I maker her a pair. This set was made with a strand of Koigu and a strand of laceweight mohair from Muench on size 3 needles. She doesn't ask for much, and in almost 30 years of fighting the Rheumatoid arthritis, she has never let it get her down. For her to ask me to knit her something was incredibly meaningful to me. It was a powerful feeling to actually be able to do something for her, instead of just admire her pluck and stubborness in the face of disease. She's embarrassed by her prednisone-y appearance, but frankly, she's never looked more beautiful to me. Disease has a way of refining-all but the essentials of a person get burned away.