Sunday, April 29, 2007

An apology for varied oopses.

1) Sorry that I haven't been posting. I have been "out in the country" watching a friend's animals since Wednesday.

2) Sorry if I stole your bandwidth. I just found out last week about bandwidth theft and am afraid I have been a guilty party. But I changed all of my images over to my own server today, and I am proudly going to display this:

Please, if you've done this accidentally, fix it, too. It was a pain, but I feel better about myself now.

3) Sorry this is the end of this post. I actually *have* been doing some knitting, and I will post more on THAT later. ;-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

That is sweet earth you might say...

In honor of Earth Day, I want to suggest that we knitters look to alternative yarn sources, like old sweaters.

I went to an art show yesterday, and there was a recycle booth. All day today I'm going to try and think of other cool and unique things to knit with, and let you know what I think of by late this evening. If we're going to call ourselves "fiber artists," we've got to look outside the box! And helping reduce trash is always a good thing.

I'd love to hear if anybody has any cool suggestions...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Something Meaningful

Continuing on with the poetry theme:

Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.
Don't try to see through the distances. That's not for human beings.
Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move.
Today, like every day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Unproductive is My Name

I haven't been posting, because I kept hoping for more productivity to post. But then today I realized that my camera is out of batteries, so even if I was productive, there would be nothing to post.

SO. A short haiku poem on the joys of unproductivity:
Lying on the couch,
Feels so nice to be useless
'Til I head to bed.

Now, I think I'm a-gonna paint. Or knit. Or something. Maybe it's time for bed again?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wedding Weekend

And after being a bossy maid of honor (I'm in the middle):

I'm exhausted.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No Knitting Today


But I was so dizzy that I spent most of the day flat on my back. I didn't know that a little earwax could completely knock me over. I've never felt like that before. The doctor seemed to think I was being a bit silly by coming in and he just gave me some pills for dizziness. But truly, it was a totally frightening and new experience to stand up and just fall back over.

I leiu of knitting, I signed up for the Sockapalooza. So now there's more knitting to do. Happy thought. :-D

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Header Banner

I created this today:

The picture is my first prayer shawl, though technically it's a "lap blanket." I made it about two years ago. I was going through a very self-centered time in my life, having just gone through a very painful ending in a relationship. The church had just started a "Prayer Shawl Ministry" and I needed something to do with myself to fill up empty moments. I knew how to knit (though was only very much a beginner--I knit my stitches through the back), and so I joined. I couldn't even think of anyone to knit for, I was so full of myself. I picked purple yarn because purple is my favorite color, and the favorite color of my ex-boyfriend, so it symbolized a lot of my pain. I did pray while I knit it, and I cried a lot. After about the first skein of Lion Brand Homespun (it took 3 on size 13 needles, 87 stitches across) I began to think about who I could give the shawl to, beginning to feel a change in myself. And, ironically, the shawl belonged to my ex-boyfriend's grandmother, Mimi.

Mimi was a red hat lady, and I knew that the shawl belonged with her. When I'd finished, I had a friend crochet a red scallop border around the shawl. I gave it to her with a new feeling of wholeness and completion. It was like an ending to that chapter in my life.

Chapters don't really end in life, though. About a year later, Mimi died suddenly. (She fell in the yarn isle at a craft store, broke her hip, and died... but that's another story.) I was enlisted to care for her mentally retarded son because of my many interests and experiences in special needs adults. I went to her funeral. She was a wonderful, truly unique person and so was her funeral. Red hats and purple clothing reined. The family used my blanket to cover the table with her pictures on it. After the funeral, no one wanted the blanket I had made, so it was given back to me.

I am not friendly with my ex-boyfried (he is now happily married and expecting his first child), but I have Mimi's blanket. I have the memory of creating this first well-done knitted object and of joining the world again with me, to wrap around me. So it seemed only fitting to put it in the background of my banner. My first knitted object. The beginning of a new life, and the end of an old one.

And that's another great thing about knitting. Right now I am using the blanket to keep myself warm (the cat loves to knead the knitting with her paws, too), and it is a part of my roommate and my daily life. But it also symbolizes so many things. So many kinds of love and pain and healing. So I had to share why it is on my banner. And why I knit: because of the prayer shawl ministry, because of the color purple, because of Mimi the Red Hat Lady.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I'm a Hufflepuff!

I've joined a sock swap to prepare for the new Harry Potter book!

We have to finish a pair of socks before the book comes out on July 21st. I'm pretty excited about this... as part of the swap we're required to take a test to see which house we're in (I'm a Hufflepuff, which is what I wanted to be, happily), and then post the questionnaire on our blog. So here 'tis.

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? Hufflepuff

2. Shoe size? 7.5-8 inches

3. Foot Length? 8.5-9 inches (I usually like a little snugger fit, so go for the 8.5 when I knit myself socks, but technically I'm a 9, and either's fine)

4. Foot Circumference? 9 inches

5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length. I am not that picky, since I usually buy the inexpensive needles and splurge on yarn. I use the cheap metal kind that only come in sets of four. I'd really REALLY love to have a set of five. Currently I have two different size five sets, and it would be nice to have one complete set. Having said that, I DO like Addi turbos, and the bamboo is so pretty at the yarn store...

6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length? ANYTHING! I can get excited about anything knitting-related, so... surprise me!

7. Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal? Sure.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Yes, I have cast on for (yet) another project.

But before I go there, I want to justify it by another foot's worth of progress on the Broadripple Shawl. When I finish, I've gotten permission from the pattern's creator (remember, it was originally a sock pattern) to post my shawl version here. Incentive to keep knitting on it? After two socks and half a shawl, I really am getting a little tired of it. I've got it memorized, could knit the pattern in my sleep. And yet, I still think it is so beautiful.

SO. The new thing:

Can't tell yet? They're toe-up socks, Widdershins, to be exact. My first toe-up sock. It was fantastically hard. Those people that say toe up socks are easier are filthy liars. I had a really hard time. And I only had four needles instead of five, so that made it all the more difficult. But I'm doing it nonetheless.

And see:

Now I have a toe hat!

Happy Easter

From the Easter Dog!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Shawls for ERs (pronounced "ears")

Yesterday at Prayer Shawl Ministry meeting a new member, Pete, showed us her first shawl. She discussed how it was not very good (which was a lie, because it was very, very nice) and that she didn't have someone to give it to. She told her son that she was just going to put it in the closet and let it sit for a while. Her son said, "wait, Mom, I'll take two." (Let's set aside the fact that he said two, which was an unreasonable demand obviously coming from a non-knitter.) Pete's son is a trauma nurse at one of the hospitals. He mentioned how the other day the people in the hospital had to wrap a woman who had just lost her baby in a really old hospital blanket. How much better to have a knit shawl?

We all got chills. Indeed, knit shawls are better, and we sent Pete home with the rest of the shawls in our closet.

We blessed them all for ERs. My little thoughts and prayers go with those shawls and the many little journeys that they go out on.

Broadripples Finished!

I FINISHED Penny's socks!!! FINALLY, all of my Christmas gifts have been gifted. *Blush*

And here they are:

Roxie stuck her paw in, and I just had to include it.

Hoo-ray! Now I can cast on for new socks!

The pattern is Broadripple Socks from the Knitty Summer 2003 issue. The yarn is Diakeito Diamoment number 807 from my favorite yarn store, Shaggy Sheep. It's hard to find the Diakeito yarn, but Jan reminds me that Shaggy Sheep ships! It's thick yarn, a little too thick for the size 3 needles, but I do like how they turned out, thick and warm. They'll be great, ahem, for winter. It took 3 skeins, with only a little left over, and they are definitely sized for size 7-8 feet. I like the colors, but if I had it all to do over again (which I DON'T) I would try to match the skeins a little better so that the toes change more gradually. Anyhow, I'm pleased. They're Penny's favorite color, and I hope she will like them too. My comfort socks.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Scattered Thoughts

I went to the LYS today and looked around for a bit, rather guiltily. But I escaped, my only new item being the knowledge that I can sit and knit with the staff if ever I am lonely... and that they know my name now. (Is this good or bad, that the yarn store staff know my name?)

I have this real desire for more sock yarn, and it's getting to be a bit obnoxious. I MUST finish these that I have first. So, I went home and forced myself to knit on the pink broadripples. The PAIR will be finished by Wednesday so I can give them away. I don't know why I'm having so much trouble finishing these!

Babies are being conceived everywhere, it appears. I am excited about the prospect of knitting things for them, though. I hope every baby I know about is a girl, so that I can knit pink ruffles.

Speaking of pink ruffles, I shall soon be a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding. This, amazingly, infringes even on my life, some six hours away. How odd that we Christians have picked this one ceremony (sacrament?) to be so special. I want a Kitchenaid mixer for my baptism. What about the Eucharist? Doesn't THAT deserve a $600 cake?

I've been having this odd craving lately to go do a rosary. I'm not Roman Catholic, and although my mother is high church Episcopalian I have been an ardent United Methodist these last few years. I'm not sure what I should make of this craving, since it also coincides with the desire to learn to spin. Maybe my hands just don't have enough to do? I must learn to knit while I am washing dishes or taking a shower or reading.

I found this today. It's colored cotton. Naturally. And also sustainably. I REALLY want to learn how to spin cotton. It seems silly to have grown up all of my life with fields behind my house filled with the stuff and not know how to change it from a little poof in a shell to the thing that is one of my greatest passions--yarn. I can remember picking up the balls out of the field when I was a kid. I remember watching someone show us how to card and spin at school, and I came home, picked out the seeds, and twisted a little section into yarn. Even then I thought it was cool to see the process that changes a tiny seed into something wearable. I must find a spinner here!

Along those same lines, I am beginning to feel a deeper connection to place, to here in the South. This is also quite odd, since I've spent many years trying to figure out how to leave Texas. But as I was driving back yesterday I was admiring the openness, the sky. I saw an old woman walking back to her house and I realized that I do, indeed, love it here. This place is my place. There is room to just be here. The moon hung in the sky tonight so big, and even from my yard in this little flat city I could see the stars. I understand things here, in this place. I understand how people think and why they think the way that they do. I understand why Georgia O'Keefe came here and found her art in the plain colors. There is room here to see for miles and drive out in the country where there is nothing but red dirt and yell loudly. There is also room to sit quietly. There are terrible things here like tornados and dust storms and mud rain and wind that will drive a person crazy. There's not always a lot of appreciation for differences. But there are redeeming qualities that my friends and I ignore far too often. There is a lot of love here. Even a girl with liberal tendencies, a tattoo, and a nose ring, can be accepted by a circle of older women. There is a connection between us all. We have lived here. We have survived the drought and the rains and the open spaces, and we even dared to thrive throughout it all. We have passed down the tools throughout the generations, and there are still people to share our love with. We young 'uns often forget about respect in our need to move forward and reject the past. I think that this is what knitting does for us. It connects us back and back to our mothers and grandmothers and farther and farther. Women have always been doing this. Women must always be doing this.

It is too easy, always, to dismiss someone, to dismiss a place, as ordinary. There really isn't anything ordinary. We shouldn't work so hard to be special. The most special people are the ones that recognize the negative and decide to be positive anyway. The most special people are the ones that look at the terrible awfulness of life and decide, anyway, to love.

Well, I've waxed eloquent enough for a while. I just keep hearing how terrible this town is, how "there's nothing to do," and "nothing but narrow-minded people" and "why in God's name would anyone live here." I also, let these words slip out of my mouth, and I wanted to say, for the record, that I understant the beauty, too. I understand the importance of open space and deep connection to the earth. So there. That's enough.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Back From the Bridal Shower

My sister's shower was this weekend. Lots of people and cool stuff.

If I stay single forever, can I have a shower, too? I want a KitchenaAd mixer.

But along the drive, I finished one of the Seduction Socks:

And I also made some (albeit small) progress on the second Broadripple sock:

And now for some scrubs and the Broadripple sock again. I MUST FINISH!!!