Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Two projects done! The other six...

Two of the latest knitting projects are done - Skully and a special request scarf. The socks, the tank top, the two shawls (one for me and one for my daughter), the booga bag, the "new" scarf and shawl projects are all in their own little bags calling to me for attention.

Here is a picture of the finished lovely Skully:

My parents were in from Minnesota last week, so the knitting was less furious than normal. Now that my young'ns are at their father's for the next three nights I will be making up for lost time. The problem is that almost all of my projects need counters and I only have one right now. I've been marking the spot where I've left off on the pattern and using the counter for something else, but that is becoming tiresome.

There will soon be pictures in a lovely gallery of the finished knitting projects, modeled by more capable folks than I.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Skully update

I'm enjoying the knitting of the modified Skully sweater (a shout-out to my friend Mel who cheerfully gave Skully a lower jaw and an attitude adjustment courtesy of Steve Earle and the Dukes). I think it will look much cooler now. I've finished the front, back, and neck, and am working on the intarsia on the sleeve. I must admit that I will probably frog the neck and do it again. It looks too loose and I'm not sure I'm liking it. I'm loving the Lamb's Pride Bulky - that fact that it's thick in some places and thinner in others - and it is very soft. You can tell where I've been knitting in the house by the black strands of wool that surround me on my formerly-white-in-another-home-with-another-family sofa. My children have one more night at their father's house, so I can continue to abandon everything but work and knitting tomorrow, as I did today.

May the wool be with you.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Reading, listening, and knitting

I like to know is what my favorite people are reading, listening to, and knitting. I have to know because I might be missing out on something, and I like to know what people are up to. I've been knitting my ass off since December and my reading list is shorter this year (but I haven't spent as much money on books - that's a good thing, right?), but I've still been enjoying myself. The listening is still Steve Earle. Thanks to friends my collection is almost complete. I've got tweleve of Steve's CDs in the player (Just an American Boy is a live double album) and I listen to them all constantly. I'm also listening to Michelle Shocked's Arkansas Traveler with bonus tracks. I had the tape many years ago, but I think I left it in a car that died. My newest acquesition is Patty Grififn's 1000 kisses. I love her songs and can't believe it took me so long to buy an album of hers.

Right now, I'm reading Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson. Two divers found a WWII German U-boat off the coast of NJ that wasn't recorded. Very interesting. Prior to this book, I read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger which I loved. There are many "established" rules of time travel in fiction, and this one doesn't follow those rules, but it is amazing. I had a hard time stopping when I needed to go to sleep, feed the children, go to work, etc.

My current knitting project is "Skully" from Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie Stoller. I want my skulls to have lower jaws, so I'll be adding them. (As an aside, I'm wearing black for the next four years because I'm mourning the result of November's election.) This will add another black item to my wardrobe. I just finished the "Vintage Velvet" scarf from Scarfstyle by Pam Allen. Yes, the yarn was expensive, but it was worth every penny. The scarf is knitted in Touch Me yarn (rayon and wool) and then felted. It is amazingly gorgeous! This particular scarf will be a gift, but I'm thinking about splurging and making one in black for me. Next on the list is a black shawl that will be used to accessorize those pesky summer dresses that have no black in them. I've got bamboo yarn and it feels soft and light and lovely. After that, my goal is the Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi Shawl (guess what color). We''ll see how it goes.

A Mother's Day

I received most of my mother's day presents early. My daughter Erin, has been making me envelopes filled with love notes for a week. I was admonished NOT to look inside - and I did not - until today. Morgan made me a card with the sweet lines, "Dear Mom, Happy Mother's Day. I love you. How are you? I will help clean. Love, Morgan" How many eight year old boys volunteer to help clean the house? Bowen (his class has been studying poetry) wrote me a poem:

My mom is my star.
I look up to her like the night sky.
She tucks me in at night.
Like snow on a cold winter day.
She loves me and I love her.


I've never really gotten into Mother's Day. I thought it was another card company holiday. Recently I found out the original Mother's Day was a war protest in 1870. That is soo cool, and so much more of a holiday I can get behind. Women, as mothers, wanted action. Many of us want the same action now. This is a quote from the original Proclamation of Mother's Day:

Arise, . . . women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts . . .
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we
      have been able to teach them of charity and patience.
We, women of one country,
      will be too tender of those of another country,
      to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
From the bosom of the devastated earth
      a voice comes up with our own.
It says, "Disarm, disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.

        Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Tart Knits

I learned to knit as a teenager (my grandmother showed me when I was younger, but I wasn't so interested then). As a teenager I knitted mittens (as liners for my choppers) and a baby blanket. That was the extent of my knitting adventures for a while. Then, in my late 20's I was working at a bead/yarn store and traded out all the money I made for beads and yarn. I was mostly into off-loom bead weaving, but I did knit a sweater for one of my children (two of them were in utero while I did it). After the birth of twins and 23 months later, my last child, I had no time to knit (or do anything else).

This past Christmas I bought my five year old daughter a knitting kit. After showing her how to knit - her first project is a scarf for her stuffed animals - I felt the yarn calling to me. I have been out of control ever since. I've mde hats, scarves, felted cat beds and pillows, made an intarsia bag for my daugher, and am excitedly awaiting the arrival of my sweater yarn in the mail.

I am obsessed with the knit. I KIP at soccer games, before plays, in various health professional's waiting rooms, and anywhere I can manage it. I am obsessed with the texture of yarn. I must fondle and sniff almost every yarn I pass. I am always out for a good deal, but unfortuantely, don't really balk at the site of expensive yarn, either. I am obsessed with books about yarn and knitting, I have four new knitting books and three more on the way.

Knitting has been better than meditation for me. I have a very difficult time stopping my ever-looping-inner-mind-chatter and when I knit I can worry/obsess about whatever is on my mind, but only to a certain extent. If I get too wrapped up in my thoughts I mess up the pattern and that need for focus seems to be a good balance for me. I can also engage in my other obsession - listening to Steve Earle - while I do it. How perfect is that?