Three hundred eight to go. Well, I had to post at least this much didn't I?
There is not a chance that I can capture this shawl photographically. That is unfortunate, as it is one of my favorites of all the things I have knitted. Another perfect melding of yarn and pattern, dye job and knitter. One of my favorite SPA moments was when I took the shawl to show Kim (I had to let her be the first to see it) and as we held it up someone came up to check it out. Kim and I turn to each other, point and say at the same moment, "She dyed the yarn," "She knit it." If only Mim had been there, we could have had a grand old mutual admiration bash!
Speaking of Mim, I cannot say enough good things about this pattern. I have to admit, when I had considered it before, I thought it quite simple and with all of that stockinette stitch a little, well... Boring isn't the right word, but you get my drift (don't you?). For some reason though, I found myself being drawn back to it again and again, especially when deciding what to knit with this yarn. It was the perfect choice, this is probably my favorite shawl so far. Then again, I do have a history of my favorite being the one I just finished, no matter what it is. The pattern is so elegantly designed and well written, I suggest you run to Kim's and then to Mim's and make one. It should be told that the pattern calls for fingering weight yarn on a size five needle, and I knit mine in laceweight on a size three. To make sure I had a shawl as big as I wanted it, I knitted twenty-four more rows in the stockinette stitch section than the pattern is written for. Then, panicking that I would run out of yarn, eliminated four rows in the first chart by working some increases without yarn overs to compensate. Turns out I had plenty of yarn, but it doesn't really alter the effect of the eyelets leading into the lace that much at all and the shawl is just the size I aimed for. Unfortunately, I have no action shots and the shawl has been worn enough to have lost that "just blocked and looking perfect for the photo shoot" appearance, but Woolybuns Chris has photo of my Seraphim clad back on this post.
Shall I go on about Woolen Rabbit yarn again? I cannot even believe how wonderfully it knitted into my shawl. The colors add just enough interest to give the shawl a certain fluidity, but without detracting from the lace or stitch definition in any way. It is soft and just perfect for lace. The highest praise? I bought more at SPA. Not my last purchase, I'm sure.
Three hundred nine to go. The 29th of February is an official "day off" for the participants of Blog 365. I'm torn. The thought of a day off is met with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it could be nice to leave the blog quiet and have this post up all day. On the other hand, I sort of twitch at the thought of not posting and feel that no matter what, I will get to the end of the year and have a sense of not quite completing the blog for a year thing. I'm on the fence. I guess we'll find out some time tomorrow, won't we?
Does anybody really care what I brought home from SPA? I ask myself that, but I do like to see what other people treat themselves to, so I'll go ahead and show it off, if you don't care, then I'll see you tomorrow. But, there might be a little bit of other content at the end of this post. You never know.
So here you go, the purchases of the weekend:
Oh, Cyndi, I got you some of the Opulence from Kim, but didn't get a decent photo of it. We'll have to get together for tea so I can give it to you. It is so pretty.
When you have committed yourself to posting
every effing day regularly, finding new ideas or themes to help things along is always a good thing. I have given themes to a couple of days of the week and that is helping (WIP Wednesday was not my idea, but I love it!). Just today I found The Daily Meme, which is a collection of different daily excuses for a blog post. I love this idea. Some are lists, some are prompts for just a sentence or an essay. I may be incorporating some of these into the daily posting. I got to that site by link-festing from Shut Up and Knit! Today is Ten on Tuesday, a site that gives a prompt for a list of ten things to post on Tuesdays. This weeks' list prompt is:
And that is the short list, there are so many films that I've missed and want to see.
Three hundred eleven to go. Anybody up for a movie marathon?
This post is so late for today and I have to head in to Boston for a concert that I totally forgot about. While I love Meagan, my 'pre-reminded of concert' plan was to spin more of the fiber that I was spinning over the weekend. Plan busted! So, while this was intended to be a parade of fiber and yarn acquired at SPA, all you get in my puhrize! Yahoo! I rarely (I guess I cannot say never anymore) win anything and I hit the jackpot this time around. Take a look, and be careful of the drool and your keyboard. Just a warning.
From left to right (all handspun!): 59 yards of 100% Bison. 70 yards 10% Maine Alpaca. 52 yards 80% Wool and 20% New Zealand Possum. And the last two hanks-you are really going to wish you could rub these all over your body-Two hundred eighteen yards of 100% Sinfully Delicious (their words, not mine, but all true) Cashmere! It is screaming to be worn as close to my neck as I can get it. It is gorgeous. Did I not win big? These were donated by Northern Bay Handspun, be sure to check out their Etsy shop!
The upside of being out of time? I can spread my stuff out into more posts this week. I have my shawl to show off (I cannot not get a shot that will do it justice, so you are going to get what you get), more stuff that I got, WIP Wednesday (if I am working on anything), my spinning........ I hope it is less boring than it sounds, but I know you guys. You love the stuff. OH-and I am taking suggestions for the use of every inch of that cashmere. What do you think?
Three hundred twelve to go. Wearing the Sinfully Delicious Cashmere hanks as neckaces. And yes, I did mean all over your body. ;)
Unwinding. My mind is sort of a blank and my body is recovering from too little sleep, too much chocolate, too much drink (well, for some people. Apparently too much for me is one martini and one-third of a beer), too much belly laughing and inhalation of fiber fumes. Following a time away, any time away, I return home and need to crash. My family wants me to chat it up with them, which is sweet of course, it means they missed me. I missed them as well, but man! Give me some debrief time, will ya? (There is also the one thing that Pete lets happen that wouldn't if I were home. This time Erin convinced him to drop her at the hair dresser's with money and a plan. Let's just say it will take some getting used to on my part. No worries, it isn't psychodelic or anything.)
I took my camera along and snapped five photos, every one of which sucks eggs. No amount of Photoshopping will save any one of them. I excercised some restraint this weekend, but I might have an acquisition or two to share tomorrow. Or proof that I did spin. Really, I did. I did see others with cameras, hopefully they will be posting their great shots.
I always love that when the wheels are spinning and the needles are clicking away, the jaws are yapping. It is as good as wine to get those slips of the tongue, the gossip and the wit! (The wine and, apparently, tequila don't hurt either.) Oh my God, my friends are hysterical. The stories and even better, the one-liners that come so quickly! I've learned to just keep my mouth shut, because I'm never as quick or funny. I just nurse my aching belly. Laughing does that to me and I laughed a lot this weekend, even though I was constantly reminded of how un-funny I am.
Three hundred thirteen to go. *One of the quotes of the weekend from Carole during a conversation about Julia's Ashford Joy, the wheel that "gets around." Little wheel-slut. See Carole! I credited you and I did it in the teeny tiny letters at the bottom of my post. You probably can't see 'em though.
Clearly, I stay up way too late. This guy was on the Letterman show the other night and I knew that if it was available on YouTube, then it would be my YouTube Saturday post.
And well, you know how YouTube is, one thing leads to another and I found this, which is so cool! Imagine the rehearsals!
Three hundred fourteen to go. I'm that limber. Really.
And an even suckier day for photographing one's recently completed shawl, so you only get a teaser photo.
Just in time for me to leave my unnamed Amaryllis threw out a bloom for me. There are plenty to follow that one, so I'm thinking I'll get home to a couple of more and then the anticipation of the second stalk! I might order another to finish out the season. This year I may try to keep them to see if I can force them next winter. I've been reading up on it and while the work seems within my skill level, I haven't been known for my green thumb. I wouldn't call it black, but maybe just a little blue. Hope your weekend is filled with fun things!
Three hundred fifteen to go. My day? "You know the nearer your destintation, the more you're slip-sliding away....."
My little "denim" secret? I get the same thrill of potential upon entering a jeans store as I do a yarn store. I love denim. I mean! It is versatile, goes with every color and depending on the garment, can go from day to evening. It doesn't hurt that it is blue, but denim fits me, my style and my lifestyle. I even have a denim sofa in our game room and would use it to decorate almost any place. D is for Denim.
Three hundred sixteen to go. My favorite skirt in Rowan Denim. A couple of months and I can wear it again. That keeps me going to the gym!
Three hundred seventeen to go. Knit two, *insert left needle into the second stitch on the right needle and pass it over the first, but not dropping off the left needle, keeping it on. With the right needle, from the front, knit the next stitch on the left hand needle and drop that and the bind off stitch off the needles. Repeat from * across bind off. Over the next 550 plus stitches. This could take two days.
This is a knitting blog. Well, at least half of the time there is some kind of fiber content, so this week it is all knitting all the time. Okay, not the blog perhaps, but my free time? All knitting, all the time.
What is it about knitters? We have a weekend or festival that will be spent with our fellow knitter buds in our future and we need a new knit. Look at your Rhinebeck sweaters. Usually a waste, because it is often too warm to actually wear them, but Rhinebeck sweaters are all the rage. I always knit one. I didn't say I ever finish one, but I always knit one. Is our experience somehow enhanced by wearing a new FO? Do we somehow feel the need to show off our prowess? Or is it simply having the rare opportunity to recieve the accolades and praise from the only people who really get it and will give it props? I mean, my husband saying, "Yeah, that looks great!" after I have pointed out the new sweater with fair isle and cables on size one needles that I've worked on for months is good, but.....
So this weekend I will be meeting up with some knitting and spinning friends and I, of course, think I need a new knitted thing. So this week is all about the knitting. Not the emailing, not the commenting (I will read them! Don't hold back!), only some of the blog reading. The knitting. Here is what I am up against.
As of this morning I have well over 400 stitches on the Addi Lace needles. Fourteen rows of knitting stand before me and the never-ending bind off. I am getting two rows done in about 45 minutes, and each of those sets of two rows my stitch count increases by four. I have a job and family and want to make it to the gym a few times, so those are time sucks. Then I need to block the thing and be ready to go by Friday morning. My free time is all about the knitting. I figure these to be my possible outcomes:
So while next week you will receive replies to your emails and comments, this week it is all knitting. All the time.
Edited to add:
Three hundred eighteen to go. The knitting has so gone to my brain, I forgot my post script!
While Sandy (Happy Blogiversary-go wish her one and maybe get a little prize!) is awaiting a bloom and racing bulb rot, my plant is neck and neck in the blooming department. I didn't name this amaryllis and it looks as though we will be enjoying a blooming plant some day soon. On this rainy and gloomy day, it is something to look forward to.
While the precious minutes of daylight increase this time of year, it is still the time that I get a little sluggish. It takes everything in me to get to the gym more than a two or three times a week and I show up at work late every day. I recognize this as a February pattern for me and find myself battling between fighting it and rolling with it, knowing it will end. This weekend I rolled with it. Yesterday I took my shower and put my pjs back on, hung out, listened to music, knit and cooked all day. Even with the conscious decision to roll with it comes the guilt of being sluggish. I'm not one to complain about the weather, winter is what it is and I know where I live. I'm actually still enjoying the winter part of it all, but when days like today come around with their hints of what we call spring (a season I hate in New England), I do look forward to the summer and my body and soul coming back around, springing itself out of this blah that it gets into.
Three hundred nineteen to go. Rain, rain, go away....
Speaking volumes while saying just a little, this post, from Lucia who has not officially joined the Blog 365 or 6 craziness, but is blogging daily anyway, is my favorite of the week. It is to the point, draws a mental picture we can all relate to, while not taking up precious weaving time with the blogging. Cracked me right up! If that isn't the true spirit of the thing, I don't know what is!
Three hundred twenty to go. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a post.
And this one:
Three hundred twenty-one to go. Dum da dum da! Dum da daaa.....
I had a difficult time handing this over at the post office, I felt my heart was going with it. I loved knitting this shawl, for so many reasons. Some of those I wrote of in yesterday's post, so today I'll tell you about the yarn! and the needles! and the pattern! I can't say too much about Kim's yarn. Just look at in garter stitch:
As if that isn't enough, look at the lace:
It is a good thing I had to send it off, I couldn't stop taking pictures of it. That Opulence is soft and cushy and squooshy, a breeze to knit with. The stitches just flowed onto and off of the needles, looking gorgeous at every turn. The blend of silk and merino is soft with a sheen that reflects the light gloriously. And if you have stopped by here recently, then you know my feelings about Kim's sense of color. She is a genius. (Disclaimer: I am not an employee of Woolen Rabbit and do benefit in any way from my shameless promotion of her yarn. My only benefit is in her friendship, and that is benefit far outweighing any other kind.) The yarn arrived in one large and one smaller skein, and while they were dyed in the same dye pot, the mystery of the dye pot eludes me, they were slightly different. Because I wanted to use it as much of it as I could, I started with the larger skein and when I got to the lace section I striped the two together. It worked out well, I don't think it is noticeable except to me, and well, I am the knitter and know the secrets of the shawl.
Addi Turbo Lace needles are great! I can't wait to use them again, they work stitches together easily, the cord is flexible and the needles are practically weightless. I do have a little hole in my finger, but I do tend to be an aggressive needle pusher.
When I decided, at Kim's suggestion, to knit this shawl I was worried that the garter stitch would drive me mad, but I loved working it. I cast on while I was on my little juant down to the Carolinas, so it was perfect knitting for travel and spending time with people. In two days I had the garter stitch section almost completed and again, to use as much of the yarn as I could and make a larger shawl than the pattern is written for, I extended the garter stitch section. I only extended by a little bit though, because it occurred to me that adding length in garter stitch is like filling your bathtub with a medicine dropper. I added repeats to the easily memorizable lace section, a much more effective plan to add length. This is a well written pattern and I think would be a good introduction to lace for a knitter. I, for one, may be shopping for more Opulence to make one to keep.
My intention was to knit a hug for a friend. She has reported to me that I have succeeded.
Three hundred twenty-two to go. I am, apparently, dangerous with a camera. And with the photo-editing. Doesn't that shawl look about twelve different colors? Which one is true? I'm not even sure that I know. Whatever the actual color, I promise it is gorgeous!
Much has been written about the Prayer Shawl Ministry on the internet and in the news. It is a simple thing and about a year and a half ago I was asked to start a group at the church I attended, people know I am a knitter and thought that was, apparently, the only qualification needed. While at the time I wasn't so much into it, I heeded the "call" and got a group of knitters together to create these shawls to be given to people who are sick, mourning, celebrating births and weddings, any number of reasons. The shawls, for uniformity, washability and affordability are made with Lion's Brand Homespun. Not the yarn I would choose to make almost anything out of, but in this case it does the trick. When I make a prayer or good intention shawl for someone I know, I use nicer fibers if I think they will "get it." And I will use a different pattern, depending on the recipient.
I had no idea what to expect when I started this ministry, but it has been so rewarding. I am not usually there when the shawls are presented, but I love hearing about the reaction of the recipients. One woman would not go into surgery without her shawl, another wraps it around her every morning to meditate and pray even months after she is healed. Upon receiving her shawl, one woman cracked up laughing. Turns out, she is one of our knitters and got a shawl that she herself had knitted. So funny!
In thank you notes and anecdotes, one thing is clear. The restorative power of the stitches. Not just the stitches, but the love and good feelings that are knitted into each one. We usually don't know who we are knitting for, but to knit in a spirit of giving and healing touches not only the person that receives the shawl, but the knitter as well.
Many knitters knit for charity and can attest to the same. Knitting in itself gives us our own meditative state, that calmness that we strive for on a day of stress, or the brain chemical changes that come with the repetition and focus. Knitting for someone else takes our minds off of our own problems or bad days to focus on that person. Add to that a productivity that gives us a sense of purpose and imagine all of that wonderful energy being sent off in the form of a warm, knitted hug. I believe heartily that whatever you are feeling while working on something transfers as energy to that thing, so am careful to always sit to my Prayer Shawl knitting with a spirit of hope, love and caring.
Recently I have knitted a special shawl for a friend that has had a tough winter. While I couldn't be with her to give her a big hug, I knitted one for her, into each stitch I imagined her feeling stronger and happier. Throughout the process I was surprised again (I always am) at what the knitting did for me. No matter what the day had brought, when I sat and worked on this shawl a feeling of light and happiness would come over me, and I felt that energy not only in the work, but crossing the distance between us. We all know how knitting is good for us, but I am always surprised at how knitting for others intensifies those feelings, it isn't just the knitting anymore, it is the giving as well. Really, think of how you feel when you give, and how you feel when you knit. Put the two together and it doesn't just double, the rewards are exponential and what you feel for the recipient grows as well. How can you feel anything but love for someone you are knitting for?
This got me to thinking about that saying that was taught to me growing up. "Pray for your enemies, for while it may not change them, it will transform you." As much a skeptic as I am, I know from experience that this is true. Can you even imagine what it would be like if we could teach the world to knit? The knitting alone has a transformative effect on most, but then if somehow we could get everyone to stop and knit for their enemy one hour per day. Gang members knitting, I don't know, intarsia scarves with gang logos, armies knitting socks, and world leaders creating hats and gloves for each other. The physical act of creating is one part of it (I mean, picture a teen knitting a logo and taking pride in it, then gifting it out! It is ludicrous, but think about it), but I don't believe a human can continue to hate someone that they are knitting for. Like prayer and meditation the knitting and giving alters the soul.
Three hundred twenty-three to go. I have a vision of the future: A meeting of the United Nations. Member representatives are working on a way to have peace in the mid-east at the same time needles are click-clacking away on Noro striped scarves and lace shawls. Suddenly everyone notices the time and an arrangement over the Gaza Strip is happily agreed to. Just in time, because the keynote speaker is about to arrive: Lucy Neatby, who will be doing a workshop on short-row heels and toes.
I know it. Random Wednesday, WIP Wednesday. One I have randomly participated in, the other I have not yet. So for me I announce it Random WIP Wednesday, meaning that I will participate randomly and will show random wips.
I wasn't so sure about this color combination at the start, but the Silk Garden has won me over once again and I love it. I can hardly put it down, wanting to see what striping combination surprises me next. Progress is being made.
The Loksins! sock has been languishing in my bag. I haven't been out and knitting all that much lately and when I have I am usually knitting on the shawl or Noro scarf. I should make knitting a round or two a priority. If only I could hear it calling to me from the bag, but I have it on vibrate.
Oh! The Seraphim Shawl. Oh, OH! Kim's yarn. Okay. That is about it. The stockinette stitch has to come to an end soon or I'll shoot myself. And get this: I'm adding length in the STOCKINETTE STITCH section of the shawl because I am using a thinner yarn and smaller needles, yet want a long enough shawl. And this, my little fiber knitter friends, is where the optimism comes in. This yarn just has to be this shawl. There was never a question. It's the only thing that keeps my gnarled fingers moving along.
There is a noticable lack of sweater knitting going on here. It is bumming me out, but I can't decide what to cast on for, my choices are so many, my yarn stash so deep. I have decided that while I weigh my options I will finish a sweater that is already on the needles, and I went with Rogue. My third Rogue is up to the armholes and where the neck detail begins. Almost done, right?
My one other project is photographing the stash and getting it up on Ravelry. I'm pacing myself. As if I can ever do that!
So, there you have my random list on a random WIP Wednesday. I'm focused and ready to go!
Three hundred twenty-three to go. What do you think? Will I finish something on this list? Or cast on for the next pretty thing that sashays by?
So, what'd you think of the Grammy Awards? There were some highlights: Morris Day and the Time singing Jungle Love (ohweeohweeoh!), Tina Turner upstaging Beyonce (is it me? Or is she overexposed just a bit?). It is good to see that Tina still has it over any young 'un. Amy Winehouse. Okay, she was a low-light as well. I love her music, but wonder if she should be rewarded for such outrageous behavior. Carrie Underwood, probably the best thing to come from American Idol had an okay night, I love that song! Prince, bummer he didn't sing, but just his presence does it for me. Has he aged a second?! Even Erin was impressed. Erin's favorite was the Foo Fighters, a band she will see in person next week (and she won't let me forget it, "I can't wait for Monday!" Remember being that excited for a concert?). I loved the Rhapsody in Blue arrangement and was totally blown when Herbie Hancock won the Album of the Year Award. Apparently, he was too. I thought it was a little odd that the album to win best soundtrack was just a collection of Beatles music put together for Cirque du Soleil. And maybe it is only me, but aren't we over The Prayer by now? Don't misunderstand me, the song is beautiful, but is sung every.where. One thing I can't tire of is Josh Groban. And while both The Band and the Beatles got lifetime achievement awards, it would have been great to hear some of the Band's music. The Weight? Up On Cripple Creek? I love those old days music. heh. Your favorite high and lowlights?
Three hundred twenty-four to go. "Take a load off Annie, take a load for free. Take a load off Annie, and...and...and.....you can put the load right on me."
Cerulean Blue. It is said the word cerulean is derived from the latin, caeruleus, meaning dark blue, blue or blue-green. Further derivations from the latin caelum, heaven or sky.
Not only a beautiful color or the imagery of color, the sky, it is a great word. Cerulean. Heavenly to think about, fun to say. Surprisingly to me, Cerulean Blue is the color of the millenium. Personally, I think that is reasonable. And I mean, if the people at Pantone declare it, it has to be right.
"Psychologically, gazing at a blue sky brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "Sky blue is imprinted in our psyches as a retiring, quiescent color. Surrounding yourself with Cerulean blue could bring on a certain peace because it reminds you of time spent outdoors, on a beach, near the water - associations with restful, peaceful, relaxing times. In addition, it makes the unknown a little less frightening because the sky, which is a presence in our lives every day, is a constant and is always there. That's the dependability factor of blue."
Those Pantone color people know their stuff, don't they?
There is a blog or two with the name (and wouldn't we all just love our daughters to bring home that writer of that last one!), a site devoted to an artist who is there called "The Painter of Blue". How about an potter's Etsy shop, although there wasn't an overwhelming amount of blue there and an ebay store that sells (ick) dental equipment. That doesn't give me a calm cerulean blue kind of feeling. How about science fiction? For those of you looking for a vacation home, how about New South Wales? There are too many bands and too many songs with the same name to even link to any one. Some weren't so calming, but a popular color and cool word to say. C is for Cerulean. Blue.
Three hundred twenty-five to go. And twenty-three letters to to and make up twenty-three of those posts.
Finally! It looks as though, despite the lack of foliage, I will have blooms! And a lot of them, I hope. I can't remember what color they are supposed to be, so that will be a surprise.
We manged a little winter hike today, in between rain and snow squalls. Such luck we had! It was slushing as we drove to our local town forest, remained dry for the hour or so we walked and then started to rain as soon as we got back. Then the snow squalls that were predicted with such excitement by the local weathermen blew through, complete with thunder and strong winds that seemed to thrill them so much. After that the sun broke out for a few minutes. A clear sky that hasn't been seen much around here. It is bad enough the daylight hours are so short, but to have even those blanketed with dark and gloominess makes it hard to keep my mood up. I am noticing the added minute or so of daylight at the end of the day. I love winter and am not exactly tired of it yet, but the thought of summer and dinners on the porch in the light of a high sun keeps me going.
Three hundred twenty-six to go. Did you know that bounce, bounce, bouncing off the gums with woven floss is by far the best way to floss? The things that you learn over tea with friends.
I'm accused of going on binges with many things. I suppose that in some cases it may be true. The one that drives Pete the battiest is the one in which I listen to the same album or artist for days on end. Sometimes it is a soundtrack to a show or movie, others just my newest album acquisition. Often it is an artist that I love and am just in the mood for. Lately I have had Eva Cassidy repeating on the iPod. The world is blessed to have her music and clear, expressive and soulful voice, although her story is of a life too short. ABC's Nightline broadcast a story about her that you can see here, here and here.
Three hundred twenty-seven to go. I'm also binging on chocolate, tea, casting on new projects and knitting with Kim's yarns.
I have a friend who, quite literally every time she comes to my house, wanders into
the game room my fiber studio and says, "Terry! Do you think you have enough yarn!?" (I'd need the paddles if she caught site of what I have stored in the basement!) I'm not really sure what motivates her shock and the need to bring it up every.single.time, but obviously if I thought I had enough I'd stop getting more. Often she tries to bring my husband in on the discussion. What does he think of all the yarn? she wonders. He has been instructed to back me up, no matter what. (Pete and I have a little agreement. When my stashes equal his hobbies dollar for dollar I will stop. I am a few Golding Spinning Wheels and a new Bernina sewing machine behind the motorcycle, boat, scuba equipment, winter hiking paraphanalia, etc. before I come anywhere close.)
According to Ravelry I have a pretty smallish stash. But what does Ravelry know? I've been thinking about really adding my stash to my Ravelry profile, but the thought of the photographing and inventory-ing is daunting. Then I think, like some others, I'll just add what I get new to the stash page. That's a pretty good plan, but I haven't managed even that small task. A lot of people have pretty big stashes, that is for sure.
And have you seen the queues?! On Ravelry building up a queue is a lot easier. Love that cardigan that so-and-so just finished? Click the button. That hat perfect for your mother's birthday? Click the button. Those socks making you drool? Click, click, click. My queue is rather filled up, but it is nothing compared to some. I admire people like Margene. She actually waits until she has yarn and a real plan before she clicks. That is some restraint.
What do our stashes and queues say about us? That we are hoarders? Maybe. Compulsive buyers? Possibly. Delusional crazy people? Probably. Eternal optimists? YES! That is exactly what our yarn, fabric, fiber, and craft supply stashes say. I mean, really. Is there much of your stash that you think you will never, ever get to? I don't have much. I look through my stash and my collection of UFOs with the calm assurance that I will knit up every yard of that yarn. We knitters, we are a testament to hope. With every skein we add to our lives we see not just an organization issue, we see the future. A future for that yarn, combined with needles, a vision and our skill, that is far beyond what the yarn is in that ball or skein. The feeling I get when shopping for a new project, be it in a store or my own stash, is akin to the endorphin high I get after a run. There is a rush in casting on a new sweater, scarf or glove. We are generators of our own natural high. We envision ourselves or a loved one loving and wearing it, this makes us visionaries. Every swatch knitted is the beginning of a dream (okay, sometimes a nightmarish one, but still). We are dreamers. The process of knitting every stitch is calming, lowering our blood pressure and heart rates. We are meditators. Stitch after stitch, one after the other we become creators. Looking forward to binding off, blocking and finishing so that we can give or use in love. We are romantics.
So, the question. What does my stash say about me? I'm an optimist. I'm a dreamer, a visionary, creative and a giver of joy. Right now I'm dreaming of proudly displaying my positive attributes by way of my stash in Ravelry. What does that say? That I really am an optimist.
Three hundred twenty-eight to go. At least that one ball of yarn is being added to my Ravelry stash, but adding to the actual stash is so much more fun.
So, the consenses was mostly to leave the teeny tiny line at the bottom of the post, but if you really can't read it, let me know and I'll send it to you in an email. Someday. Because I think most of you know how good I am at the email thing.
Evidence of the email thing, a few people asked for the sock pattern than I am knitting. I really am going to return those requests, but knowing that for every person that asks there are seven or ten or hundreds that wanted to know, but didn't inquire, here you all go. The sock pattern is called Loksins and can be found and purchased here. It is a great pattern, easily memorized and quick to knit.
Three hundred twenty-nine to go. At this rate that could mean twenty-two Noro striped scarves to go.
A few weeks ago I received a handwritten thank you note on a real card, inserted into an envelope, sealed, addressed and stamped. How rare is that these days! I still look forward to the mailman. There is that little hope inside that the post will bring me some little surprise (and Lord know I order enough of them to be looking anyway) from a friend, far or near. With the internet and email, it happens rarely, but I am still hopeful and when I actually find an envelope addressed to me that isn't a bill or an offer of a line of credit I am so thrilled.
So Margene made my day and sent me a little thank you note on a cute card with a barn and sheep and lots of green grass. While the card is lovely, the sentiment inside is always the best part. That she took the time to sit with a pen and write, then put in the envelope....... That is the most special part.
A few days later I go to work and my boss, she of the yard sale and Goodwill bargain (giver of clutter and stuff), also known as my mom, had a little present for me, I'm pretty sure a Goodwill find. This lovely velvet box with a framed slot for your own photo:
It is stuffed with cards and envelopes suitable for penning a note and posting it to a friend. The same card that I had just gotten from Margene! That is the serendipity part. I have always been a sucker for stationary and miss the days when I had penpals to send special cards and notes to. Time to make that a habit again.
Three hundred twenty-nine to go. I'm out buying stamps. Want a note? Send me your snail mail address!
I turned a heel. Pretty nifty, right? I always experience a little thrill when I turn a heel, like I just performed a trick, magic of the knitting sort. I have written about this before, but I cannot help it. Turning a heel has the power to turn my mood around, gives me a mental giggle every.single.time.
As if the sock knitting and heel turning aren't enough, I wish you could just look at that yarn in person. These days there are "indie" dyers on every corner of the internet. I mean, there are a lot of "hand dyed" and "hand painted" yarns being peddled and a lot of it is good. Unfortunately, anybody that can purchase some blank yarn and a few bottles of acid dyes, throw them in water together and hang them to dry thinks themselves a yarn artiste. What that means for knitters? We have to sift through some crap to find the gems. Many of us have experienced the disappointment that comes, knitting colors that looked so beautiful in the skein, but so icky or pooly in the garment or sock.
None of these are the case with the yarn I am knitting with now. Named "Lady Sings the Blues" it is a rich blend of blues and greens that, for me, is reminiscent of a Blue Spruce. The yarns dyed by Kim of Woolen Rabbit are rich and luscious and while they compliment even the simplest garter stitch knitting are not overwhelming in lace or cables. Kim's color sense is such that she has me loving colors I usually dislike. Have you seen that Tupelo Honey? Mmmm, I can just about taste it. I have recently had the privilege of knitting with her newer Opulence yarn, a squooshy lace to fingering weight that reflects light brilliantly.
Why am I going on like this about Kim's yarn when I promised to announce winners to last month's contests? There is some method to my ravings. I introduced the prize in a way and the two winners are to hop, skip and jump over to Woolen Rabbit and choose one skein of sock or lace yarn as their gift! How awesome is that?
The first contest of this year was my Blog Birthday contest. All you had to do was say some little nice thing to me and I'd pick a winner. Lori G. had some purty words to send my way and she gets to shope for yarn!
The next contest was the How Many Emails Did I Delete? contest. You people started slow. That, of course, made me realize what a LOOSAH! I am at decluttering my computer life. Guesses in the hundreds and thousands. They probably sounded like reasonably large numbers of emails to you all. But in the few weeks that have passed I already have over 2500 emails in my Inbox and Deleted Files. Already!! That is after going no email on all of my yahoogroups. (I know you guys get a lot of email too. It's your dirty little secret that I am letting out of the closet.) Wondering just what that number is? Ready for it? I'll spell it out for ya. Twenty-five thousand, eight hundred twenty-four. It just seems easier to take in letters, doesn't it? This seems harder: 25,824. "Hi, my name is Terry and I'm an email hoarder." Jenny! (without a blog), you are the winner with your guess of 25,678! So.Close!
Congratulations, ladies. And happy shopping!
Okay, I realize this post is getting long, but I have two things. First: Is the music too annoying? It came along with the clock in my sidebar. I got that here after I saw it here. You can always silence it while you are here, or I can dump it. Let me know. (After two days it finally dawns on me that Uniqlock is Unique Clock. This deserves a DUH!) Edited to add: Never mind. I figured out that I can keep the sound off, so no more music. Now if you want it, you'll have to turn it on.
Second: I've been counting down the posting days at the bottom of each post in teeny tiny italics, usually with a little something extra. Can you all see it? I can leave it bigger if that is better. Tell me.
Three hundred thirty days to go. Plugging my ears and squinting on my own blog.
Such a whimsey! Cozies for your mugs! Who knows if they work, but they certainly are a clever and fun little project that I plan on making again. I can finally show these to you, they were the gifts for the two winners in my How Many Teas Do I Actually Have? contest back during NaBloPoMo. (Wow, a whole month of posting. That seemed so overwhelming at the time. Now a year? Crazy is as crazy does...) I sent the mugs with their cozies, some loose tea, infusers and of course, chocolate. I got the mugs at Zazzle dot com, a fun website where you can put whatever you dream up on all kinds of fun stuff, mugs, t-shirts, hats, bags, mouse pads. You get the idea. Just fun. I love the mug, "knit" in languages. A perfect sentiment for tea and knitting time. I hope that Erin and Lynn will use them in good health and hot tea. Or coffee, really I don't discriminate.
But, what about the January contests? Have I forgotten those? Will I award prizes? Choose winners? Well, yes I will, but that will be for tomorrow, because when you are posting every day, dragging things out is a mandatory trick.
Three hundred thirty-one to go. Maybe Belichik should have stuck with the grey sweatshirt. What was with the red?! Or maybe Giselle should have stayed home. Hmmmm...... There is always next year.
The chili is on the stove, the house is getting cleaned up, the party is at our house. It has been a fun ride, here's hoping for one more win!
Three hundred thirty-two to go. Less than two weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training!
Today is Groundhog's Day, St. Brigid's Day and the Third Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Reading. What follows are excerpts from Snowbound, a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. The poem is quite long, you can read it all here, and it is worth it. Whittier captures my perfect show day, warm inside with the storm raging all about, family and fire to keep us warm. (Okay, the perfect snow day sans the electric water heater/dispenser, my computer and email, cell phone, dvd player with movies and plenty of hot water to shower in, but you get my drift.) Whittier is a local man, his birthplace is located a few miles from my house and it is there he penned this poem. The dedication on the poem reads, "To the Memory of the Household it Describes," and I can picture that home when I read this poem and imagine it all.
Three hundred thirty-three to go. Will the groundhog see his shadow this year?
Some stuff. You know.
The writer's strike is a bummer for even me and I don't follow a lot of shows in any way that can be considered consistant, so if I am seeing a rerun for the third time then there is a problem. Fortunately there were two shows that started up last night, the ever-frustrating Lost and a new one, Eli Stone. Did you see it? Laugh out loud hysterical, if you missed it you should catch it online. Frankly, they had me at the ads with George Michaels. "Cuz I gotta have faith, faith, faith, I've gotta have faith, faith, FAITH!"
Post a poem tomorrow. Could be fun.
Today was National Wear Red Day for Women and Heart disease awareness and I remembered. No worries, red turtleneck with my Blue Ski Jacket sweater. I knew you'd ask.
I have a sock on the needles! That is something I haven't had in MONTHS! How does that happen?
That is Woolen Rabbit sock yarn and I love it. The photo doesn't show the color, Lady Sings the Blues, at all well. There are blues that are moody and greens that are deep. So yummy.
Last. Lately about 50% of my calorie intake is chocolate. You think I exaggerate? My intake of chocolate is so steady that I'm often just not hungry for meals. That is winter for you. I'm making real attempts to change the chocolate:other healthy foods ratio. Mostly, I am not eating less chocolate, just eating more foods. I get a craving for chocolate? Well, that apple looks good. Craving still there? Wasa bread with peanut butter, yum. I still have that craving? How about a bowl of Fiber One with soy milk. Still.Have.Craving!? Eat the effing CHOCOLATE!!!! This pattern repeats itself over and over all day long. (There is that break after lunch when I don't eat so that I can work out and then the time I am actually working out that I don't eat anything. And when I sleep. Other than that? Grazing.) What doesn't help? Discovering wonderful new chocolate makers that create these delectable combinations that make me want more, more, MORE! (Gitchy, gitchy ya ya da da, Githcy gitchy ya ya here, Mocha chocolata ya ya! Creole Lady Marmalade!!) Oops, sorry about that, the chocolate is getting to my head. See that choclate in the photo? That isn't just any chocolate. That is not the chocolate that you pop into your mouth, grind up with your teeth and swallow. No way. That is chocolate that you savor by placing it on your tongue and waiting. First the semi-sweet chocolate starts to melt away, coating the inside of your mouth with a rich, quality chocolate. Throughout the bark are pieces of salted caramel and spiced pecans, so every one of your taste buds gets an experience, first the saltiness of the caramels, followed by the crunch of pecans and in the end you are left with dried chilis and red pepper on your tongue, a nice spicy bite for the savory bit. I get a bit dizzy just thinking of it. Oh wait, that's withdrawal, I'd better go have another piece.
Three hundred thirty-four to go. I've tried the Orange Ginger bark and their caramels, too. They rock!!! I can't wait to try more.