Saturday, September 27, 2008

Actual Knitting Content Ahead

Don't drop over - I have some actual knitting content and pictures for you.

One of the sympathy cards I received after Mom's death was from a friend I haven't seen for 25 years. She was my closest friend in Sunday School and after her marriage she moved away and we somehow lost track of each other. On the card she gave me contact information and I was thrilled. Last week we decided to meet today for lunch halfway between our houses.

Lucky for me there was a yarn shop very close to the restaurant so I left an hour early and went to visit Knitter's Palette in Lakeville. What a wonderful shop. It has plenty of yarn but isn't crowded feeling. There are wood floors and a couple couches to sit at. The yarn choice is wonderful and they have spinning wheels for those interested in spinning.

I did not leave empty handed. I left with some yarn, a Rowan book and something else.
The yarn is something I had not heard of before Talinay from Chili. It's a great looking wool. The picture does not do it justice because today is a very overcast day and the colors are much more rich than it seems. The Rowan yarn is Tapestry and is to be a a swatch for a project that hopefully you will see one day but - not for a while.

The Rowan book is their 30th anniversary pattern book/magazine. It's huge and has some great patterns in it.

As I was ready to buy the yarn I noticed something calling to me. It sat there with quiet dignity saying my knitting projects deserved to be carried around town in something better than an old tote bag or a Target plastic bag. I listened to it and decided to bring it home.

This is my new project bag. It's nice enough to double as a purse. Has lots of pockets inside and outside. It's a Namaste according to the tag and was very reasonably priced. Some of my blogger functions aren't working right so I can't link easily but the site is and the bag is in the Cali collection - Laguna.

The knitting that's been keeping me busy much of the week is my Jade Sapphire Cashmere/Silk scarf. I decided to use a simply pattern (KnitPicks 1,2,3 lace scarf) so I could take this anywhere. It's very soft and once finished and blocked it will be fantastic.

Other knitting is the continuing of the Soft Shoulders sweater. You know - the one I started back in 2003 and kind of forgot about. I have to pay attention to this one because there are different cables with different numbers of rows per repeat. I wrote up the design row by row and it had a repeat from rows 15 - 38. There's enough going on that I don't want to goof up a section by getting distracted so this project stays home and is only worked on during boring TV shows.

In case you're interested- Lunch with my friend was great. It's hard to catch up on 25 years in just a couple hours but the friendship and bond is still there. We're not going to let 25 more years go by before getting together again. We've already started hatching a plan to get the old Sunday School group together. Wish us luck!

It's a Kitty Jungle out there

I got a comment about the thing the boys were playing on in the last post. It's several years old at this point and still holding up well. It made up of 3 areas. The back where Chief is has a 2 level tube with a hole between the levels so they can run up and down between the levels. The 2 side pieces are 1 level "hammocks". This is Bert's favorite spot.
Sometimes they hang out on the top and look out the window or catch a quick nap.
Sometimes they hang out on one of the 2 lower levels and play with the dangling mousies. This is probably Bert's favorite activity.

If you have kitties I'm sure they'd love to have their own Jungle Gym. I got the original one at Target but couldn't find it on their web site. Last time I was looking in the pet area I did see one similar to this so hopefully if you want one you can find something close cause - my boys really love it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let them entertain you

Not much going on here except cleaning the basement. So - to keep you happy, I'll leave you with some pics of the boys to entertain you.

The "right arm stretch" seems to be a popular pose these days.

Maybe I'll get my blogging mojo back tomorrow......

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Same ole - same ole......

5 years ago today I was knitting and the cats were sleeping. The only difference is - the cats were Chief and Jamie back then. Now it's Chief and Bert.
9-21-03 - Chief and Jamie
What's the knitting going on? Oddly enough the same sweater. I started knitting the Soft Shoulders sweater (cable pic from last post) from Knitting magazine Fall 2003 back then and it got tucked away in a closet. Last week I found it and started working on it again.
Cats sleeping - same sweater knitting - I love progress. Just wish I'd see some!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why Knit?

Back in elementary school my fiber addiction began. Mom taught me to sew and embroider. My Grandma taught me to knit. In 2-4 grade I made many Barbie doll scarves, potholders and sewed many troll doll outfits. In 5th grade a made my first complete garment - a small blue checked long nightgown. High school saw many original outfit by me. I made "hippy clothes" and my own jeans. I made tailored blazers, swimsuits, nehru collar jackets and more. In college I got back to knitting. Back then I sewed to save money. I could make a pair of "designer" jeans that fit me perfectly for about $5.00 while basic jeans in the store cost $15 or more. (Hey - it was a long time ago and clothes cost less back then!) Things are different today.

Now a days I can go to the store and buy a basic sweater for $15-40 when they are on sale. I can't buy yarn worth wearing and knit something for less than that price. So we don't knit to save money why knit?

I knit for many reasons.

I knit to keep my hands busy. When I'm in a meeting my hands tend to play around. I'm constantly playing with my pen or doodling. I can't help it. Meetings at work aren't a good time to knit. The culture there just wouldn't allow it. Too bad. But when I'm home watching TV my hands are happily busy knitting. Better that then eating all the time.

I knit to create. Nothing makes me happier than watching the process of nothing become something. Following a pattern and making something is okay but when you can think something up in your head and see it happen, that's the best feeling.

I knit to have something to brag about. Oh let's admit it, we love it when people come up to us and say, "I love your sweater." and you can answer back - "Thank you. I made it myself." That's a rush to the ego and we all need something to make us feel good about ourselves. The only thing better is when you can say it's your own design - that's the best!

I knit because I love my friends and family. I like to give good gifts and give of myself. Knitting lets me show friends and family that I believe they are worth the time and money it takes to create a special present for them. Sure, it would be easier to run to the store and buy a gift card but that's just not me. I need to give of myself more than just the money it takes to buy a card. Give someone a gift you made and you are giving a bit of yourself that will stay with them a long time.

I knit because it puts good "mojo" into the universe. Knitting calms the knitter, bonds people together (fellow knitters), and when you knit for charity or prayer shawls it puts good vibes into the world and right now the world really needs good vibes.

There's other reasons I knit but these are the main ones. Why do you knit?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A new Normal

The summer made me realize many things about how quickly life can change and how many things we can not change. Life happens and sometimes all you can do is decide how you are going to handle it. The beginning of July saw the beginning of our time to say goodbye to Mom. July ended with her funeral. During the same time her older sister was in the hospital again for another health problem. She never quite recovered and we had her funeral last week. My Uncle, the middle child, is handling all this family change with grace and reflection. His life has changed so much this summer. He went from one of 3 siblings to the only surviving sibling. My father knows Mom is gone, but not quite. That's the thing about memory loss- sometimes it works for you. He hasn't had to deal with severe mourning like he would if his memory was intact.

My way to deal with all the changes is to find a new normal. I don't have phones calls at all hours from Mom worried because she's lost Dad, she doesn't "feel" right, and all the other reasons she'd call. I don't have to run over to her place to help her. But I still have Dad. I still have work. I still have my friends and family. I can think about taking a real vacation for the first time in a long while. And - I still have knitting.

The last couple posts I mentioned the Dumpling Bag in Interweave Knits, fall 2008. Sharon Dreifuss (She-Knits podcast) designed it as a quick little knit. It's a great idea for a Christmas present. It takes 2 strands of worsted or 1 strand of bulky - 1 skein of either. Her original pattern has a trailing vine with flowers but I decided to give mine a Native American gourd kind of look.
Sharon has been absolutely thrilled to watch the numbers of these little bags grow on Ravelry. Think about making one for yourself or as presents. I think you'll really enjoy the knit.
One suggestion - one of the people in our group (She-Knits) on Ravelry uses balloons to shape hers and says they work perfect.

Of course, the babies never seem to quit coming at work so I made another EZ February Baby Sweater. They're cute-quick- and everyone likes them. The yarn was some machine knitting yarn and ended up being stiff to knit with but once washed its very soft and baby-ready. Now to hunt up some buttons.

Other knitting going on is getting ready for Christmas. My family quite giving presents a while ago but that doesn't mean I can't knit for my friends! Earlier this year I made the Urban tam and last week I made some mittens to go with it. The yarn is some stuff I found at an outlet it's Vimar 1991. The cuff is leftover Paton's Classic merino.

Last night some friends and I got together to finally start watching the HBO mini-series on John Adams. We thought watching how our country started would be a great way to survive the craziness of the next few months until the elections. We all have strong feelings about how great our country is and how important it is to make a thoughtful decision on who you vote for but - we also sadly believe most people vote for the "cool" person. The pro-wrestler becomes governor because he's cool- not because he's capable. Whoever you vote for- have a good reason. Believe that person will best lead our country the way you think it should be led. Don't vote because he's good looking or she's a hockey mom or whatever stupid reason. Believe in your candidate.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Life got crazy again. My Mom's older sister passed away 1 month after Mom did and we just finished the funeral, etc. yesterday. I REALLY want life to get boring for a while. I'm tired and have so much I want to tell you about but - not tonight.

I'll leave you with a picture of my dumpling bag from the latest Interweave Knits. I'll tell you all about the bag and other knit goodies in a day or two. Right now - I need to sleep!