Saturday, November 29, 2008

Some assembly required

Saturday after Thanks-giving. No work. No malls. No to-do list. Leftover pie. Plenty of string. A compilation iTunes CD from JP surprise on my desk this morning. In other words, a practically perfect day!

The formless blob at left is the RED shawl. The separate edging is complete and just needs attaching. Then I'll need to block the daylights of it if it is indeed to be a shawl. It is frighteningly small just now.

AND a Christmas card arrived today. Not even December.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Three Tenors

"I laughed when I saw him,
Who comically stood
With his bright eyes of coal
And his gay mouth of wood.
His nose was a carrot,
So pointed and thin,
And a deep dimple sat
On the end of his chin."
---Grace E. Easley

The snowmen tree skirt project is finished. I'm pleased that this project came together and fairly painlessly. It started when I saw a magazine ad for something similar from The Company Store which was happy and nice, but $79. [sorry. direct link eludes me.]
Holiday stringplay is finished for the season. Anything else I decide to start will not be intended to be finished by Christmas.
I can now give my full attention (a laughingly small quantity) to the RED shawl. I'm pleased to say I'm on the third and final chart. Knitting a pattern that decreases with every row has real advantages. I could get spoiled. [Evelyn A. Clark, I hope you're listening.] There is, of course, a long, long separate edging to be knit and then sewn on. But we won't worry our pretty little snow heads about them just yet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Elf and the Sockknitter

....or my first step to becoming a Net Granny.

I think Kay and I are about to play a variation on the folk story, The Elves and the Shoemaker.

Kay, [the elf in this senario] in spite of turning out record numbers of dishcloths, isn't ready to embrace the purl stitches in a sock, but would still like a pair of handknit socks. Who wouldn't?

You can see the bag, recycled from our now-closed LYS, has made a couple of doorknob drops already. Today it was hanging on my doorknob and two balls of nice cotton/wool/nylon blend sock yarn were inside.

I get the fun and Kay gets the socks. But probably not by Christmas, Kay. You know I work best at a relaxed pace. Besides, Mary beat you to it. I got a bag of yarn from her on Saturday!

[more about my plans for that loot later]

Friday, November 21, 2008

In search of mate.
The first sock is done. I usually don't have any problems with Second Sock Syndrome. I don't mind knitting the second one and usually start in as soon as I have the time.
I'm calling these my Leave It To Beaver socks, but I'm using Nancy Bush's pattern, Gentleman's Fancy Sock from "Knitting Vintage Socks". These are not going to be beauties, but I think they'll get lots of wear and be warm. I changed the heel just because I didn't want to deal with that purl seam stitch down the middle, but I kept the wide toe just to try something different and I think I like it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still with the nupps

A sign you just may be letting the Estonian knitting get to you: you start referring to your candy as nupps!

Nope. They are Nips. But you can see what I mean.

I've finally made it to chart 2. Whee. I'm still enjoying the pattern and I'm still SLOW.

I'm going to try to squeeze a few more nupps in today, but I managed to find the black beads I need for the snowmen 'coal' eyes and buttons on my other project and I need to get that finished.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Shadow

I HAVE a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

---------------------Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

I took this picture a number of months ago and it's been hanging out in draft form since then. I'm not sure even why I wrote it except I know that as I did my walk that day and watched my shadow move and change, these lines kept running through my head.

Today is the birthday of Robert Louis Stevenson and I've loved his poetry since childhood. Most of the small, early poems I read and loved were from my Childcraft; Vol. 1 "Poems of Early Childhood".

I confess to being quite immature and my childhood may have lasted longer than many! I have my Mother to thank for preschool reading material and trips to library.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Natural Light Needed

I am working on the red shawl. I promise. Granted I don't get very many rows done each day. In fact, on good days I get a whopping 2 rows done. But I've finally decreased down below the 200 stitches mark so I'm feeling a bit better. Will it be done in time to wear Christmas? I have very serious doubts. But since I didn't start it with that in mind, I hope I won't be too disappointed.

Instead I finally got around to another project that's been percolating - and one I hope I surely do get done soon.

Sometimes there can be just a very subtle difference between floss colors. Since I intended to take the blog photo outside anyway to get the best lighting, it only made sense to audition the colors while out there. [probably keeps the neighbors scratching their heads about me, too!]

In the past I've always aimed to end any holiday stringplay by Thanksgiving. I don't need any stress of working on gifts right up until the last minute. I do much better without those kind of complications. Well, Thanksgiving is almost here. Yikes. Time to get this project done.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you to all who have served and those who continue to serve. I can not truly appreciate all your sacrifices because I have not been in your place, but I can honor you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Field Trip!

Today Kay and I took a field trip to the Georgia Tech Institute of Paper Science and
Tech-nology to see the current exhibit "Cutting Fine, Cutting Deep: Cut Paper Works from Switzerland and North America".

Since the exhibit closes this Friday, I won't link but here's a bit from the exhibit description:

introduces audiences to environmentally focused cut paper art. The exhibition includes works from artists of the Swiss Scherenschnitt (scissor cutting) tradition, along with contemporary artists working in North America. Visitors will see silhouettes, dioramas, paper lacework, pop-up drawings, and complex symmetrical designs.

We both had a great time and were amazed at the work exhibited. The tiny images I'm able to post here cannot convey the beauty and intricacy of the work. This one is by Ueli Hofer.

We saw some very traditional Swiss scherenschnitt by Beatrice Straubhaar,

some intricately colored pieces by Elisabeth Bottesi-Fischer (her work is shown on the sign out front), and some intensely lacy pieces by Ernst Oppliger.

Many of these artists can be seen in this YouTube video (but be forewarned; there is a very intense yodeling soundtrack!!)

(also click on my pictures to see the details larger)

In addition to the exhibit, we toured the permanent exhibit on the evolution of papermaking and viewed the Dard Hunter collection. Hunter practiced "the creed of the Arts and Crafts Movement, whose proponents believed that a hand-crafted object was inherently more desirable, beautiful, serviceable, and worthy of human endeavor than anything made by machine". Amen.

It was a lovely fall day made even better by getting to spend time with a good friend.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Leaf Peeping

I'm sure it won't be too long until I'm com-plaining about all the raking and how long it takes me away from the string, but not yet.

I think today must be the PEAK for the color. Every tree I've seen has been beautiful.

We've enjoyed a really great fall with pleasant temps throughout October.

It's overcast and raining just a bit but I wanted to get a shot of this tree in our front yard. These past few afternoons when the sun has been shining on it, it has just GLOWED.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Citizen Knitter

under 35 minutes!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Got Nupps?

It is slow going for me on the Estonian shawl but I can hardly complain when I am absolutely in LOVE with it.

It's my first time using Lacey Lamb and I don't want to ever knit with anything else. When I'm not inching my way across another row, I'm online looking at the other colors.
But as I mused to Mary, would it be such a bad thing to only wear RED lace forever? There are certainly worse eccentricities.
I still can't seem to get the idea of the construction of this shawl through to my brain. I have it really upside down in the picture. The pointy edge that I sort of pinned out is the top edge - the long wingspan edge and I'm knitting down to the center point in back.
I am in LOVE so far but there are many, many more nupps to go. I don't look at the charts yet to work and I certainly don't allow my eyes to land on that scary sewing illustration for the separate edging that gets attached around the curved edge. Yikes.
LOVE, remember, is blind.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall back

When the weather is as perfect as it is today, who wouldn't want a whole extra hour of it?!

We have really been having some lovely fall weather.

Throughout the month of October Kay was busily knitting more cotton washcloths. She may have mentioned her project and I knew she was working on a new batch but little did I know one would find it's way to my door knob. AND with some really yummy blackberry soap to boot. Thanks, Kay!

I spent my extra hour putting a few more nupps into the Estonian shawl. How did you spend yours?