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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Knit Wit Rebound

Last Wednesday we had a food shortage and a wine abundance at Knit Wits. Imbalance caused us to overcompensate last night, so the eating was good. Next week, I expect to see us balanced again with just enough food and adequate wine for all.

We have continued to work on our KAL with serious knitting going on, as we pay attention to complicated stitch patterns. If we get too excited with our conversation, we spend our time frogging. No fun and frustrating.

I brought in a heavy selection of books and patterns to consider for another KAL. The ladies that are knitting at the proposed rate of one block per month were dismayed. Our KAL project required one to knit a new stitch block each month. Some of the ladies ( no names published, you know who you are), have finished their Throws. I must complete mine by June for a wedding gift. I have a second one on the needles for my own home. I will stay on track with that one.

Finish afghan, originally uploaded by headknitwit.

It is fun to see the colorways coming together. The group dynamics are a microcosm of society at large. We all start out, travel along, then complete our journey uniquely. As long as we finish in the same place, we will win! Fortunately for me, my fellow travelers keep me laughing along the way...

First panels, originally uploaded by headknitwit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back to Knitting

Here is a close up of the KAL Four Seasons Throw. Tomorrow at Knit Wits I will take photos of the finished throws and squares in progress...

Blessed By Beth

This weekend I had the honor to attend Living Proof Live with Beth Moore, noted Bible teacher. I was the guest of my dear friend Gena and we both had an inspiring weekend. Thank you Gena! I was so happy to see so many ladies from my community, my church, former knitting students, old and new friends. Studying the Bible for the last 27 years has been a passion of mine. I believe that we need to develop ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually to be well rounded humans. The past few years of study have taken on an energy of excitement and learning due to the DVD studies offered by Beth Moore. You can watch a video of the San Diego event and hear one of the most beautiful songs. It is 4 minutes well spent. Learn more about Beth.

The Boy Can Work

You have to see it to believe it.

Color Combos

Spring has sprung and the flowers are blooming. Lots of trees are in full flower. Looking around the lush environment inspires me in my knitting. I am a lover of earth tones. Primary brights make my eyes hurt, usually. Someone asked me how I could combine orange and purple and like it, based on my usual color preferences.

I found the answer in my own yard. Nature's palette is my foundation for many of the projects I create. It is the colors that do not occur in nature that are the least likely to attract me. So primal and instinctual. We are such animals at our core. Grrrr, gotta go knit...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Knitwits Notes on A Sunny Day

Like every Wednesday evening of most weeks of the year, last night was spent laughing with my knit buds. We usually do a random potluck of wine and appetizers. Sometimes we end up with a full buffet and dinner is served. Last night we ended up with 8 bottles of wine and my pathetic offering of string cheese and rice crackers. It was all I had! Thank God, Gloria showed up with some meatballs and a baguette to save us all from DUI's.

I try to arrive shortly after 5, to set up and prepare. I left the house early to search a few discount stores for a yoga mat to fit into the bag I finished and delivered to Heather last night. Seems that there was a run on yoga mats this week (bathing suit season!) and there was not one to be had for a reasonable cost. Fortunately, Heather had ordered one from Amazon. Unfortunately, it was not there last night to fill out the bag for the ladies that "need to see it to believe it." The speculation on what the heck the thing was bordered on obscenity. Let's just say that a lace pattern, yoga mat bag, reminds one of an elephants trunk snood or condom? I tried to explain how you roll the long cylindrical bag down to insert the rolled up yoga mat... again, the condom reference.

Our expert knitting elf, Ruth was with us last night. Our talk turned to stash (from trash) and she again told me of her plan to leave all of her yarn to me when she dies. We talk about everything. I would be honored to inherit her stash. We went on to discuss stash management and the need to never ever enter a yarn shop again. Oh, that I could keep such a commitment.

I have no photo of the finished bag. Link to Heather's blog and perhaps she will post her new accessory. My right middle finger is throbbing from knitter's hand.

We have hit a block in our KAL throw that is all garter stitch and so boring I can't make myself pick it up. So as a diversion, I plan to work on 2 small UFO's and be caught up with my goal of 12 completed UFO's for the year. One each month and this is the 4th month. So, here you see pictured a purple sweater for Dom and an orange vest with pants, for brand new baby Lily, born on Sunday evening. If the year were only one day, it would be time to start lunch. Here I am lingering over breakfast, when all I like in the mornings is coffee.

It is dog park day. Sunny and beautiful. One of the days that make people California dream. The time flies, even if it is not well spent. Work calls and I refuse to answer. Look at the photos taken today and tell me I can't spend the day outside...

Monday, April 7, 2008

I Hate To Swatch

I hate to swatch. For you non-knitters out there, the swatch is a small square sample, knit to experience the yarn, with all of it's inherent qualities. You do this prior to putting all the effort into knitting a large expensive project that may not work out. You do this to see how the yarn behaves.

There is a website called Knitters Review, written by Clara Parkes. I have her listed as a favorite. I have been reading her advice for years. Teaching in a yarn store meant more to me than reaching out to people that need to learn to knit. It also met one of my needs. To know and feel all the new yarn I could get my hands on and knit it up for a sample or for myself. We share this love of yarn of every type.

Clara Parkes makes a living reviewing yarn and swatching it. She washes it and test drives it around the block. She is my phantom swatcher. Thank you Clara. I swatch no more. She has written a great book. It may be the Bible of yarn. I bought it and read it and was delighted to find patterns in there. I was not expecting them in this textbook. I knit the scarf on page 215. The Scaruffle. A great way to practice short rows with no pressure. Check it out. The Knitter's Book Of Yarn.

Turns out that Clara is a kind and thoughtful woman. So many knitters are, you know. I had gone to her shopping site and ordered a shirt, some note cards and enclosure cards. The shirt was sold out due to an inventory glitch. Through a series of emails and a lovely note we worked things out to complete satisfaction. Love the stationary by the way...

Pooped Pup

Look at the pooped pup, post pup park, camouflaged on the living room rug. Yes, she has gained weight. Yes, I love her. The dog park is better than Tylenol PM...

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Jazzercise

Three years ago I knitted a yoga mat bag sample for the store. Noble Knits West folded a year ago and That yoga bag with new mat remained in the trunk of my car all year long.

Two weeks ago while visiting Yia Yia's bedside, Christine's cousin Laurel popped down on the floor and started to demonstrate her yoga routine. She had a lot of kinks to work out and her audience was enthralled. I ran out to the car, grabbed my bundle and spontaneously gifted her with the well traveled Yoga mat bag. Laurel was pleased and I was thrilled that I remembered the bag and found a welcome home for it.

Fast forward to Knit Wits Wednesday. Heather reminds me that she has started to torture herself with Jazzercise. She remembers the Yoga mat and bag that rattles around in my car. Lime green and turquoise yarn calls out, "look at me"! The forgotten bag has been remembered and found life with Laurel and is desired by Heather. How ironic. What to do?

Knit a new one for Heather! She picked out the yarn(pink and turquoise) and I want to finish it by Wednesday night as a surprise. Ryan was home this weekend, so I got a good start on it. 2 days to go, gotta knit now...

Not Feeling The Blog

Today, I spoke to a friend of mine named Penny. She is pure delight. We were talking about a friend that has suffered a terrible loss and is depressed enough to seek medical intervention. Penny sincerely felt like she had nothing to offer her because Penny has never been depressed or down. Her words- not mine. What a concept. I have made a habit and a calling out of being down. I have been so down that Hell looked up to me. I feel deeply. Fiercely, even. The good, the bad and the ugly. My nickname is "Evil Marsha." A name bestowed on me after a particular cynical and toxic discussion of some folks that were tweaking my nerves. I can be crusty. I can be caustic. However, my pendulum swings all the way to the far side where it hits fragile and sensitive.

Friendship and loyalty are areas where I am vulnerable. My daughter recently has gone through a tough breakup with her boyfriend. She is such a stellar human being in my eyes. I could not understand her lamentations for the boy that did not want her. Move on. I do not want people that do not want me. Ha! Then I recalled the feelings of loss I felt when a friendship ended unexpectedly. That crushed me. Being unwanted when you had been very much wanted, is inexplicable. I still wander to the part of the brain where memories of those friends fill me with longing. It is the longing of resolution. The desire to know. The need to understand. As an adult that has learned a lot in life, I know that I may never hear the words I long for. Relationships are a 2 way road. Sometimes the bridge is out. Sometimes the person dies.

Last week we saw the "trilogy of death" myth played out. Where did that old wifes tail come from? Does anyone know? Death comes in threes. Christine's grandmother, Beverly's son, and then Debbie's mother. Old age and illness do not depress me. I love old people. I am comfortable around illness and always wish I had gone to nursing school. I pray I live long enough to be very old. Yes kids, I can take illness and death in stride and keep on track.

It is the self employed husband that sets my compass spinning. Wobbling along like a bike with a flat tire. I wish I took naps to escape. I wish I would lose my appetite. Being thinner and well rested after a depression sounds like a win to me. How unfair that I resort to reading, cooking and EATING! You may think knitting would be part of my sedentary malaise. No! Knitting is my bliss. A true indicator of excellent mental health.

My road to a full recovery will involve a reliable income, a clean and organized house, more real estate in my closets and cupboards, a reliable income, Knitting projects completed and a more reliable income. Down, down, down the long and winding road..

This is why I am perfectly mated to a dreamer and an optimist. To cheer me he bought me some fragrant Lilacs. A love touch and Michigan reminder. They grow in the mountains near here, where the winter is hard enough to produce the flowers. They smell heavenly. Our winter is hard right now. We will flower again....