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July 2004
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September 2004

From the Mouths of Babes

Just a quick note from the State of Emergency, where many soggy fat quarters are in the washer, the wool dhurrie rug is hanging over the back fence and the sleeping bag is draped across the porch swing. The Good News: Yarn stash was stacked securely in plastic bins. The Bad News: Family photographs (the whole family, generations' worth) were in a cardboard box on the floor. Spread now across the kitchen counters, they may dry, or at least be partially salvageable.

Ah, but the title of this post? Last night on my trip to collect Wee C, a journey that, round-trip, is usually 25 minutes max, the flooding streets and highways put everything normal asunder. It took me 25 minutes just to reach her at Pammy's, and then we spent two hours getting home. Sometime shortly after I'd crossed the first-hour mark, as we sat locked between flooded expressway exits, Caroline said to me, with gentle encouragement, How about you knit a little bit?

Oh, sweet child, if only I hadn't left the office poncho project at work! At least she had several amusements to entertain herself, along with a few Goldfish and Cheerios. I was close to losing it when we finally eased up the on-ramp, having all 180'd our vehicles during the hours of blockage. Needless to say, no knitting last night as planned, what with damage control on various leaks, but I am binding off Rainbow Penny right now, and will wear it to work ~ and the preschool open house ~ tomorrow!


Here was the view as I sat Friday night working on the end of Rainbow Penny:


As I finished the eyelet rounds, I was disappointed to confirm that they just weren't going to stand out (or, really, be very visible) in this particular yarn. And, as the skein-end was approaching (not to mention the evening event), I decided to cast off without knitting an additional half-inch; again, I was also just thinking about the right fit for my particular body. This is where I was with the project at 8 p.m. that night:


See the few feet of yarn remaining after the bind-off? Then I got to try it on again, even though the sleeves still needed their ribbing. By this point I'd conceded that I wouldn't be wearing it to the patio gathering, but I was dying to see how it looked. Bet you are too. Final modeling forthcoming, and here's the confession: I may go ahead and add that half-inch after I finish the second sleeve-edge tonight. When I had the Asheville fitting, the bottom edge just grazed my waistline. As I'd already accommodated for my short waist by stopping the main body section sooner, I didn't need to do that with the bottom bit as well. So I'll have a coupla more ends to weave in. It's the process, baby, and my knitting moments spent gazing out the hotel glass were A-OK ~

Atsisveikinimas, Milosz

How did I miss the passing of poet Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) two weeks ago? A Nobel laureate born in Lithuania*, he flourished in Poland and spent many years teaching in the U.S. While I am not as good about reading great poets in translation as I wish, I am pleased that I had the opportunity to hear Milosz read and talk about his work in the last decade, at a small college nearby (my father's alma mater, in fact). It took the arrival of this week's New Yorker for me to receive this news. I read all four of the featured poems, and would like to share this small and appropriate one, translated from Polish by the author and Robert Haas.

If There Is No God

If there is no God,
Not everything is permitted to man.
He is still his brother's keeper
And he is not permitted to sadden his brother,
By saying that there is no God.

~Czeslaw Milosz

*I got my title from this translation site, which offered the same word for Farewell and Goodbye; it's Polish link was not working (but please, out of respect for a great man often called Coleslaw by Americans, don't start thinking of jokes). In a note of weird synchronicity, I think the night he died was the one I watched Under the Tuscan Sun on cable, in which the American protagonist attempts friendship with her Polish laborers by waving a volume of Milosz's poems at them . . .

As my mom might say, this has been a week from hell-o-Pete. As noted in the prior entry, I had a major project deadline at work and it took almost my every waking hour ~ or at least those when the Wee One was asleep. The job was handed off to the printer at 6:15 this evening, though, and I have a vacation day tomorrow. I'm off to a wedding of a friend of two decades, in the Carolina Smokies. I've a long drive ahead, with a couple of audio books and no passenger. So here's hoping for a bit of R&R for one weary momma, who probably will not even devote time to the city's top o'the line attractions. But I will be knitting (Rainbow Penny still approaches the finish line; tomorrow's party doesn't start till nine ~), and perhaps visiting a LYS or two, and running into friends or fellow bloggers.

Weekend Update

blog0003Yes, I'm knitting. I even started something new yesterday, a lace-edged baby hat I'm knitting with leftover Cecil from Nicolee's not-poncho. The yarn is umpteen times thicker than what the pattern from the summer Interweave Knits calls for, but I think I can make it work anyway. I have three newborns to knit for right now, and they're all boys! Since this lace is hardly delicate due to the yarn and the neutral cream color, I'm deeming it OK for a little fella.

blog0002Am I knitting Charlotte's Web? No. I have a wedding to attend next weekend, and I want to wear Rainbow Penny to the Friday-night cocktails, so I'm trying to give her most of my knitting time. I'm in a major deadline work period, too, so some of my naptime knitting has given way to work work, alas. But I'm on the home stretch with Penny, the contrast bottom edge. I put the whole thing on my new long Denise cable to try it on yesterday; I can't believe I forgot to take a picture (even if it would've been a headless one). This sweater looks so much better on a body than lying on a chair. I sure love being able to knit to fit. I always liked that about sewing, too. Saturday's fitting let me see that I would start the bottom section sooner than Stefanie specifies, because of my shorter torso and the slight looseness of the fabric. Final fitting may reveal some surprises, but at least I tried to take control!

Also, just because I had the camera out, here's the Deco-Ribbon bag-in-progress. Whole lotta seed stitch, so of course I had to break it up with some stripes~

Blue Fluff

flufConfession time: I added to the stash on Saturday, and left the Wee One unattended in the car while doing so. Please don't anyone report me to Social Services. It wasn't hot outside, but pouring rain, and she was engrossed by her Leap Frog Phonics Library (the one I only ever hear saying Press a letter to play music until I want to throw it out the window) and preferred to wait in comfort. Turns out Lettuce Knit was mobbed due to their sale, so I felt she was actually better off away from the crowd. Still, a little maternal guilt drove me to add two hanks of fluffy stuff to my basket, which I soon used to whip up this little scarf. I could've done with just one, but instead I made a longer scarf for her summer mate Gillian, 8, and a tiny one for not-yet-two Allie. If only I'd had the camera on Monday, which was distribution day . . .

My Rowan 36 arrived Tuesday at last. Dare I say there's nothing I must knit and now? I'm not sorry I joined, by any means ~ even though I didn't dig the Linen Drape placemat kit. I do love some of the patterns, like Lisette, but I know I'll never attempt such a small-gauge project any time soon ~ or fair isle, or intarsia. I like the Plaid knits, but not as much as the Tidal Wave Turtleneck I've already got in the queue. I love the delicate Karis poncho, but with Charlotte on the needles and a poncho in the works, I don't see myself seeking out Kidsilk Haze ~

We made it to the Knitting Meet-Up again last night, and there was L-B! This time she had her Klaralund WIP with her, and she's chosen a beautiful Silk Garden shade. Will I join that knit-along? I think it's likely!

Number Five

no50001If we don't count Fuzzy Feet ( and I don't, although I've made five of those, too), this is my fifth handknit sock, completed on Brotherman's birthday. Now if I can only make the mate by Christmas, he can actually wear the things. Not that this one hasn't met his feet already, since I forced him to several fittings rather than writing down any measurements, silly me. The yarn's a three-way blend of cotton, wool and nylon, and plied that way as well, so I found DPNs the way to go, even though I want to try sox on two circs, really I do. Maybe it would work with the Addis I have now, but when I tried it with the Inox, the yarn caught on the joins. I'm using US2s, and 76 stitches. The 3x1 rib made it a little more interesting, but I'm not exactly itchin' to cast on Number Six . . . Maybe the mate should be Number Eight, with a different pair knit in between ~


My Friday the 13th was most fortuitous, as I used my lunch hour to visit my newest LYS, where I came face-to-face with the famous L-B. Unraveled is not the closest of the three (Got Yarn's in Midlothian, so I don't count that as a fourth), but I think it's going to become my fave. For starters, I already know the owner; well, we're members of an organization and we'd at least "met" via email before. Now I truly know the welcoming face of Karyn, here with the Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Noro book I aimed to purchase.

I left with Miss Bea's Dressing Up as well, while managing to resist two glorious walls of yarn. But the highlight was surely finding Wendy's friend L-B also knitting through lunch at the back table. She lives and breathes ~ and knits ~ right here in my same city. I knew this already, having caught sight of her comments and subsequently added her to my S&B invite list, but although we've corresponded, we've never ended up knitting in the same place ~ until Friday, when I pulled out the Brotherman sock while she walked around the shop knitting part of a sweater for Karyn's daughter. I even got to try on her Colinette poncho, which she's generously lent to the shop's display window. While I won't make today's afternoon knit & nosh (naptime!), I'm definitely planning on the September 8 yarn swap, another opportunity for destashing!

For anyone who noticed Friday was also my brother's birthday, here is the fine fella himself wearing a special crown and holding its maker ~


babyIt's a boy! Kerrie and Wayne and Brooke have a Cameron. Go see. Now, what shall I knit for him?

In my own news, I've started the second ball of Tartelette on the poncho, have measured Brotherman's foot for the umpteenth time as I try to finish his first sock, and have bound off the contrast neckline of Rainbow Penny. Between the hurricane-related rains and the Olympics, I think I can get some knitting in this weekend! I'd like to finish both of the garments to take to a wedding at month's end ~ I wish I could get Charlotte done, too, but as the Wee One might say, No way, Jose. I've miles to go on that one. And still loving knitting it, of course.

Look, Ma, Blue Hands!

Greta's already told this tale, but the picture's worth her words, isn't it?


Can you believe she took that photo with her phone? Fab new art supplies kept the kid entertained for a spell while we caught up. None was labeled finger paint, but if you rub a cake of watercolor between your palms, well . . . The resultant picture's still hanging on my parents' refrigerator, but it's one I'd like to keep!

Even without a driver, I managed to get some weekend knitting in (but not while the car was moving). Four rows of Charlotte, several rounds of Rainbow Penny. Impatient gal, I picked up the neckline stitches and started the contrast collar of the latter while the torso's still knitting down ~ I just had to see how it would look, and be sure it would draw up that wide expanse. Yup. Now I have circs working on both ends of the project, so I'll try to wrap up the neck tonight.