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April 2004
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June 2004

Fionished

As promised, here she be:
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Truth be told, the button's not yet attached, nor is its mate added on the opposite bottom edge, a great idea I picked up from the knitalong list, to create a more slinglike strap. The lining fabric is drying, as I always give cottons a hot dip to prevent future shrinkage. Still and all, this is what my new summer bag looks like, here on the day I always think of as the season's start.

I just passed the fourth set of increases on the Sitcom Chic, and the last blanket square is almost off the USM and on to its duplicate-stitch embellishment. Now that baby Oscar's arrived (but still struggling; add a prayer if you're inclined), I'm thinking of altering the A B C D E to A B C O H and the 1 2 3 4 5 to 1 2 3 5 6, since he was born May 6. And it looks like Sock #5 will return to the carry-along role it's been bumped from of late. I want to complete it before I cast on for the Broadripples that are in the queue.

We enjoyed a relaxing holiday weekend, with visits to our new pool, a few special events, and several popsicles. On to June already ~ Can you believe how time flies?


Secret Selves

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At an ART 180 event Wednesday, we got to make a little art ourselves. This creation station, called Your Secret Self, featured a photog with a Polaroid and a table full of sparkly pens with which to embellish the pic. We posted it on the wall there for the duration of the evening, but I collected it before our departure (that conveniently preceded, by about a minute, the thunderstorm's deluge).

art180-2At the event (centerpiece of which was performances by young poets, rappers and comedians), the ART 180 project that most resembled our feeble attempt moved me greatly: tripartate presentations that included a photo portrait, self-description by the student portrayed, and a collage -- incorporating a copy of that photo -- by another student. The breadth of imagination and the positive riffing on how the subjects see themselves just about took my breath away.

On the knit front, I'm still cranking on Fiona, about to make the eyelet section; I hope to complete her this weekend. Can't decide whether to fully line the bag or try a stiff base (someone on the knitalong list used mat board) first. . .


Technical Note

I've fiddled with the blog in recent days, results of which are mostly invisible unless you noticed the WIProgress bars over the weekend (which I've now removed). I love them in theory, but they don't work on a white background and I can't find a color I want to place in that sidebar, so it's back to textual details.

I thought I'd also mention that the three photos in that same sidebar are each in themselves a portal to the photo gallery it describes: finished knit stitches, finished quilt stitches, and pix from our S&B. While I generally update the S&B link with a new image each month, I've never done that with the other galleries. I am trying to figure out how to get a random image to show up, but I've yet to find compatible code (compatible, that is, with both Typepad and my limited programming knowledge). And with more than 40 images in the knit-stitch gallery, I may not be up for the cutting and pasting even if I do! I picked the baby-booties shot as one with the best colors and thumbnail fit. And while three of my quilts are square, the one on view is probably my favorite.

Lastly, I've added a list of links to some of my poems. The first four there now are those that I have posted on the blog, so the links take you to those entries. I'll probably add some others simply as uploaded HTML documents, and I may change the initial ones to that as well, as I hope the work stands on its own without explanation. While I consider this a stitching blog, the stitching has temporarily (for many reasons) taken the place of the poem writing ~ but all of it constitutes my creative output. My fellow poet (and dear friend, Caroline's gnosmother and newly Oscar's mama) Lizzi immediately referred to my FOs as knitty poems, and I like acknowledging the connection. Browse them if you choose. I still intend to throw one out there in a post once a month or so as well ~


Explanation?

Out of the mouth of the Wee One this week (while watching Wallace & Gromit in A Close Shave): I was a sheep when I was a little tiny baby.
Oh yeah? Hmmm . . .

Here's my Fiona in progress, between four & five inches up the side, having just started my second ball of Mission Falls. Color's called Sky; my contrast will be Cosmos, which Greta used for the body of her completed bag. I've been experimenting with my technique again, trying what appears to be a sort of left-handed Continental knit for a break from all the purling. Because I'm knitting in the round, it's a different move from what I was doing when I knit the French Market bag. Time for me to read Annie's newly arrived Confessions of a Knitting Heretic and see where I fit in her combinations.

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I sorta wish all my current projects were not in the same color family (blue ~ so Caroline's happy with 'em). If I turn to the Linen Drape next, that will constitute a sufficient shift, since its color is something of a burgundy. I also have more Cotton-Ease to make my ChicKnits twinset (Sitcom Chic + a striped ChiKami), and some orange mohair to take a shot at Grace. I'm sticking with all the blue needles for now, though.


Whirlwind

bday0002With all the birthday action, I've neglected to post ~ my apologies. If you've been around to my buddy's blog, you've already learned that Greta and her daughter came to join us on the official day, bearing gifts and good cheer. We were eight happy diners at our neighborhood pub, and then we were two happy knitters talking until the witching hour. I hated not to have a free day to play, as when Rachael and Bethany visited, but since Greta and I share the same time zone, I hope she'll be back. Can I say again how amazing and wonderful it is to have made true friends through the blogworld?

After hefting Greta's library copy, I bit the bullet and bought my own copy of Middlemarch last night so I can read along with her and Rachael and our fearless leader, Em (of the darling new 'do and fleet tank). I'll give a try, at least. As a gal with two English degrees, I ought to have read it already!


(Almost) Birthday Girl

bday5160008The Wee One helped me make her cake, which was blue on the inside as per her request ~ here mostly chocolate icing's on view. Our first celebration of her impending day, Sunday supper with three guests, proved fun for all despite the absence of one kiddo who fell ill (and therefore kept his parents and big brother home as well). We ate long noodles for longevity, along with other Chinese delights, before the presents and cake. Much yard work (in my tiny garden) preceded the party ~ and the deluge that arrived an hour before the festivities began. Not a problem, except that it kept me from cutting some of my neighbor's peonies, Greta, for the centerpiece. We'll try for a semblance of normalcy Monday, before a Tuesday of special meals (and guests) in honor of her actual third birthday. Also in her honor, or by coincidence, my pair of blue knits continue~


White Dawn (& Blue Fiona)

rosefenceThat's the name of this climbing rose I planted outside my garden fence about eight years ago. I didn't modify the soil, which was a step above gravel as the fence is on an alley, but I've faithfully fed the plant Rose-Tone and banana peels, and it has flourished. I trim off the hips after it blooms and sometimes see a secondary flowering, but that's all the pruning I do. If you're looking for an easy rose, this one's a winner. She's dawning like crazy this week.

I made a midday run to the LYS yesterday in search of a smaller darning needle for weaving in the tiny sock ends. They told me to check my sewing supplies, but my trip wasn't wasted, because I found two potential buttons for my Sitcom Chic (they join another; I'll have a vote when the times comes) and this wonderful new pattern book.

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The first volume in this series didn't grab me, although I've loved seeing all the versions of that beautiful vest it featured (Here's Theresa's, for example.) And I'm generally not as excited about knitting cotton as wool. This book supports her new Cotton Patine yarn, though, which has a pretty close gauge to the Rowan Linen Drape I recently procured from Personal Threads, thanks to a tip from Mason-Dixon Ann. These are the two patterns I'm considering:

lavold0004lavold0002When Caroline looked through it with me last night as we sat on the front porch sipping strawberry daquiris (hers, virgin, natch), she liked this and this. Or maybe she just liked the boy, who reminded me of Anne's son. She has plenty of future garments in my knitting queue. We'll just have to wait and see whether either of us ends up with one of these fine designs any time soon!

I started Fiona today, as per the knitalong schedule. I like the Mission Falls Cotton so far. Since I'm knitting it in her fave color (Sky; matches the Denise cord perfectly), the Wee One asked whether the bag was for her. Response of compromise: We'll share it. I was lying on the bed with her (& Fiona) a while ago as she started to nap, and she suddenly exclaimed, It's starting! When I asked what she meant, she pointed to my knitting and said, the bag! She don't miss a trick, that one.


Practical Baubles

Remember the ART180 scarf auction fundraiser of six months ago? They're already planning the crafty venture for this fall, and it's going to involve jewelry. Some recent correspondence had me thinking about that, and led me to peruse my earring box in search of pairs I'd made and am already willing to part with. No doubt I'll whip up some other beady goodness come fall, for I've got the tools and supplies. But one thing led to another, and one night this week while I was between laundry loads, I crafted a few new stitch markers.

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The two on the right were originally earrings that lost a mate. For the metal one I had only to bend the earwire into a serviceable oval, but the other ~ black coral from Honduras* ~ was a b*tch! I couldn't cut its wire at all and had to use great force to bend an opening to remove the ear piece and replace it with a jump ring. The others are all made from glass beads and jump rings. I'm looking forward to using them.

*I confess to a knowledge of this material's endangerment when I made the purchase. The first time I went to Honduras, I idealistically refused to buy tortoise shell or coral from the vendors on the Tela beach. Two years later, I rationalized that they needed the income, and the jewelry was already made. Oh, shame, the things we do for souvenirs . . .


Get Ready to Wiggle

Here are my third and fourth socks ever, if we don't count Fuzzy Feet (or the perpetually-in-progress Brotherman pair). I can't believe I knit the second one in just six days; they're for small feet, but I was using US1 DPNs. And in the same period I swatched for Sitcom Chic and knit its first 2.5 inches (twice), turned the heel on the B'man sock, and nearly completed an Afghanalong square. Granted, I had about 4.5 hours of car time, but still ~ I'm proud.

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Click here for an alternate view

You'll notice the striping sequence doesn't match at all. Wee One & I are both OK with that. The observant may see that they at least each begin with equal stripes of the four Wiggles colors, but in reverse order. I had not measured the hanks when I dyed them; when I wound them into skeins initially I was thinking rainbow order, and only tried to get approximately the same amount of yarn in each ball. The Wiggles plan put all that asunder. Again, we don't mind. After the purple (Jeff), blue (Anthony!), yellow (Greg) and red (Murray), I reversed back as I could, depending upon yarn supply. The picot edge eats up a half an inch turned to the inside, too. So this is what we ended up with, each sock finishing with a bit o'Dorothy the Dinosaur green. For those of you who recall the microwave explosion during the dyeing process, that green is still in reserve, while the blue that took the extra minutes with it is visibly deeper in one sock.

All in all, a fun experiment with delightful results. I'm hoping there's enough yarn on that cone for me to give the remaining Paas package another go. Thinking that this time I'll wind off a single hank and dip it by thirds into the colors. I still have some unused orange to work into another pair, too~


Creature Comforts

Here are the six blankets I'm shipping to Liz today for the Critter Knitters Knitathon.

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The royal blue ones in the back are the ultimate in recycling: quilts made from the Lands' End chamois bathrobe I got in 1987 and only retired after Christmas brought a newfangled polarfleece one (from the same merchant, coincidentally). The next layer is my crocheted vintage rug yarn (solo shot here) and a double layered fleece with pinking shears-fringed edges, and on top are two little flannel quilts. I enjoyed making all of these, and am happy to be giving some critters some long-distance love, especially right now when our household is between pets (although I do keep remarking that I have a small animal in the house . . .)

I haven't got any Afghanalong squares on the needles right now, but we're only a third of the way into the month. I'm working the heel flap on the second Wiggles sock. Wee C has OK'd their mismatched nature (a result of unmeasured yardage dunked in the dye cups, but we'll have to see if she'll actually wear them. It was 90 here yesterday, so we'll probably have to wait until, oh, November, to get her to try 'em on. Yes, they're longer than her feet, today anyway.