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May 2005
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July 2005

Stitching for my Supper

Gil_garcetti Or for my paycheck, again, anyhoo. Tonight Gil Garcetti, who was Los Angeles' district attorney when O.J. Simpson was prosecuted, is speaking at the Center for Architecture. And since the Great Hall has two-story windows that are uncovered, and the talk starts on this summer night at seven, and the prosecutor-turned-photographer will be projecting images, I was drafted to whip up some black shades (53" x 7'4" & 53" x 5'10") to cover the windows closest to the screen. Favored coworkers made the request, and the task didn't take long yesterday afternoon. And, thanks to La Bonne, when I saw the thinning stock of Cotton-Ease there at the Hancock Fabrics where I bought the bolt o'black, I had to add to the stash.  Moving the sewing machine to the office reminds me that I still need to put a zip in the Ribby. Maybe tomorrow night, since I can't get to a fresh ball of Calmer for Elspeth while fellas are waterproofing my basement, alas ~


Pal Around

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I've started my Sockapal2za pair and completed one round of the Landlocked pattern. If Susan wasn't in bell'Italia right now, you could probably buy this fab pattern from her; I got it in a trade for some yarn. And I found the Blackberry Ridge Mer-made when the Summer of Lace list sent me a-browsing. As long as I was ordering the Violets by the River kit, why not throw in a new sock yarn to try?

[caroline ~ just typed her name. She's in my lap. I deleted the extra characters at her request.]

We're off today for mini-vacay #2, to the Carolina coast this time. I'm crazy enough to be packing three knitting projects. No internets, of course, so happy weekend, all!


Sanctified Stitcher

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Sarah was one of my earliest and steadiest S&B pals before she moved away to attend seminary. I even gave her a gift certificate for her perfect attendance in that first year. You can find her fine face in many of the gallery pix as she joined us for knit nights in the intervening months. On Saturday I was honored to carry a banner in her ordination to the Episcopal diaconate at the National Cathedral. On her other side stands Frances, who also participated in the service. And what did we do on the way to and from DC? Knit, natch, both with Rowan Calmer on the needles, our chauffeur the rector who marveled at our abilities. Congratulations, Sarah!


Rip'd & WIP'd

Clearly I've matured as a knitter. As recently as February, for example, I was unwilling to join Alison's Fix-a-thon and improve or reconfigure an FO that's not so swell. Generally I've been all about the galloping-horse theory of knitting perfection ~ witness my willingness to just K2tog the extra stitches I was mistakenly advised to cast on for Lavold's Safira Shawl. And yet, when the pattern went awry, I spent a lunch hour trying to weave in a lifeline so I could rip back below the offense. You probably can't see the shift in the pattern, but it's there:

Wonkysaf

Rather, it was. I devoted the better part of my first waking hour to frogging the whole darn thing, noticing as I did so that such a nubby yarn was not best suited to lace after all. Maybe a Pinwheel Blanket, maybe not. In the mean time, the month since I started Safira, the Summer of Lace arose and began to tempt me with ever so many other lacy possibilities. So despite my Koigu from MS$W, my recently gifted Kidsilk Haze, and the long-frogged first lace attempt (Remember Rachael's Wave & Shell Shawl-Along?), I ordered a brand new project, saving Kiri and Flower Basket and Meadow Flowers for down the lacy road. So here's the new lace, just a few simple repeats in: Violets by the River, by Hazel Carter and from Blackberry Ridge, in a kit with slippery, summery two-ply silk:

Violets

That's a five-violet repeat there; once I make the 18-violet section, I get to add the river. The silk is moving just right on bamboo, but I wish the Clover/Takumi had sharper points ~


Tiny Tarheels

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OK, technically the heels of these booties are neither black nor blue, but the straw-colored Koigu (328?) that edges my Charlotte's Web. The "uppers" are knit from the same leftovers (418?), and close enough to including the blue that the University of North Carolina (regrettably, according to this Carolinian who attended the rival U) calls "Carolina" blue. Since I didn't post a photo of the pair I made last month during my South Carolina foray, I thought I'd share these, again from the pattern I now know by heart, from Melanie Falick & Kristin Nicholas' Knitting for Baby. The prior pair were for Benjamin Andrew, born June 2; these are for Joshua Logan, born May 20 ~ to a pair of UNC alumni. I moved from crocheting to braiding the tie-cords so I could incorporate both colors.

Next on the sock needles: something for Sockapal2za! Having never participated in one of the large Secret Pal exchanges (only the comparatively tiny Cupid exchange of February 2004), I'm darned [ha] excited about casting on later today ~


Friends and Makers

Anybody ever take a gander at that list down there on the right, called Stitching Their Dreams into Reality? Those are friends of mine who have managed to unite their life's work and their passion ~ and have a website about same. I thought to mention this having just discovered that my pal Caroline (known around our house as Big Caroline, despite her petite stature) has a blog, as well as a website (and two books so far). I've added her to my Bloglines; if you've any interest in narrative non-fiction, or just good writing, maybe you will, too.

Notice how all five of them are undertaking creative pursuits? (I'm all about the rhetorical question today.) If you've no time for linking, I'll just let you know they are a writer, an interior (& furniture) designer*, a graphic artist making cards and paper goods, a jewelry designer, and a spinner/dyer/soapmaker (whom you may have met at MS&W). Makers, all. And they are friends, parents, partners, teachers and more, to boot. But plenty of folks are happy in their work, so why single out this handful? Certainly it's more than the fact of their web presences. I think I've done so because I long to be like them ~ if only I knew what is the dream I want to stitch, if only I could remain consistent in my passions. . .

OK, let's shift from the philosophical to the fibery, shall we? Thanks to the good example set by Juno, I'm going to frog a chunk of my Safira shawl. Maybe it's thanks to Wendy, too, because now that it's the Summer of Lace, I'll be wanting to show this off, so I'll also want it to be correctly knitted, rather than exhibiting a tectonic shift halfway through. So the plan for tonight is to try and weave in a lifeline below the fault, and let 'er rip. Cross your needles for me, OK?

*I stitched something on his website! In the lower right photo on the bathroom page, I made that organdy curtain for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra League designer house one year ~


Knit Night

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The gang's all here ~ or they were, last night. Clockwise, from one o'clock: Cathy, Frances, Michelle, Michele, Greta, and (the prodigal) Sarah. Baby items abundant, but also some finished objects to show off:

Sbjun0002_1Sbjun0003_1That's Michelle's latest beaded bracelet (she was working on a rooster last night) on the left, and Cathy's lovely shawl on the right. Frances' baby sweater stayed in the bag while she perused patterns, but Michele progressed on a little Haiku cardigan. Sarah & Cathy were both crocheting blankets, while I finished off another set of Koigu booties. Greta worked on a Dulaan hat and her Daughter Bird entertained the Wee C. Latecomers Leslie, Alice and Pam were knitting a bag, a child's sweater, and a scarf. Or not!

Sbjun0006 Sbjun0007 Pam


Hotlanta*

Atlblog0001_1 It's true! We enjoyed the Atlanta Botanical Garden in the fine company of Quiddity's Jane, who helped haul the Wee C and just generally welcomed us to her town (though we'd never met before).

Atlblog0002 The Locomotion exhibit captivated all three of us with its many moving model trains and nature-made replications of Atlanta landmarks. (And Jane captured my heart with her gift of Kidsilk Haze ~ Flower Basket or Meadow Garden, here I come!)

The orchidsAtlblog0003 especially grabbed me, even though there's a similar conservatory right here in the Rich City. After we parted, Wee C & I joined our dear friend John for a yummy lunch and a tour of his studio, then C caught a car nap and I checked out the newest LYS (at Jane's recommendation), Why Not Knit.

Our primary reason to visit Atlanta, of course, was to catch up with the crowd of friends Wee C has known the longest in all of her four years. Here she is in the company of her Zhuzhou "sisters," with whom we spent the most of our weekend. 

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*It's WAY hotter here than it was any day in Georgia, alas . . .


Forever Family Day

Weec_1 Three years ago and half a world away, this small person was placed in my arms. May I be ever grateful for my amazing ladybug and the myriad gifts she has brought me. A sample: When I think of my father's death six months ago, I remember her sincere query, Did he go to cat heaven? followed by her words of comfort for me: He can be with the kitties! She's given me a better memory to hold than the painful hospital end. As I finished her new dress on Memorial Day, she left her doll "pupil" and pulled up a chair to watch; later I caught her sitting at the Singer pretending to sew. At some moments I cannot fathom that three years have passed; at others I feel like we've been together forever.

Babybug_1 This weekend we'll spend time with three other families created that day in Changsha and marvel ~ we parents, at least ~ at how far we have come in what seems the blink of an eye.

Wo ai ni, xiao shu!