26 November 2007

More Gift Knitting

From the weekend, progress only:

This triangular shaping is not suited to my "how far have I gone and how much have I left to do" sensibilities. I've decided I'll have to just keep knitting and not think about it.

25 November 2007

Personal Knitting - Grey Fetching

Made a pair of these last year and gave them away. Made notes about what I'd do differently for myself. Thought I'd give it a go.

Knitting on the halves.

Gift knitting - Norberta bits

Finished the last of the bits. Now to sew.

24 November 2007


Doing Creative Stuff

Elizabeth over at SABLE discussed some of the issues she faces in placing a design on a path for publication and knitterly opinion. I appreciate that she's willing to share her thoughts on the process. It helps me as I extrapolate over to the concerns I have about what I do. I do creative work in a school setting, so I rarely post the details (or much about the process) in an effort to preserve the dignity of my students and provide myself some degree of boundary. Somewhere, sometime, I'll be found, (There Be Knitters Here!) so I'd rather not have shared things which I wouldn't care to be found out. (On a similar note, I'll be avoiding the whole f*ceb*k thing forever, if I can, in light of wanting to respect others boundaries.)

Back to why I took note of Elizabeth's thoughts, as I digress. I go through such manouevres with myself as I wrestle with creative work, recognize that there has been progress, celebrate the fact that perhaps someone is learning something, hold everyone to a higher standard, acknowledge that I can't control everything, and occasional encourage myself to let go.

No matter what, someone will be of an opinion that the project was better than sliced bread, and someone else will find a million and ten things wrong with it. And really, neither of those responses are the reasons I do what I do. And so I remind myself. And so I forget. Elizabeth's post wasn't for me, but you know how it goes: what you read can often speak directly to what you need. I can get through my next week. Thanks, Elizabeth.

Shopping Stuff

I didn't go shopping. I have enough to do, and the crush of people makes the day go too long. In the spirit of creating a smaller impact with future shopping, I did, however, finally finish my Everlasting Bagstopper. All that was left to do was to apply straps. I finally found some fabric I liked for the task. Yesterday I whipped up two tubes, pressed them out, and applied them. The pictures I took are lousy. I'll want to redo them.

I also find it difficult to go shopping when I am making such steady if gentle headway on the clearing out of STUFF (aka thrift donations to the Sally Ann). Took two bags last Wednesday when I went to the thrift store to look for some costume items. (PS. I walked out without a purchase.) Dropped off two more bags today.

Making Stuff
Since I mention the shopping issues and the purging of stuff, I give you a hint of the knitting posts to come: I continue to make progress on finishing what's on the needles. And I've decided I am going to do my knitting on the halves. This one's for me, this one's for a gift.

Part of the reason I ever started knitting and sewing (back in the dark ages of my youth) was to outfit myself. I am by golly going to be doing a better job at that. It doesn't look good on me when it's in a tub, and I've been clearing out steadily the stuff that I don't wear and shouldn't wear.

The other thing I intend to do is make some no-fail pressies - just as people gift fruitcake or bottles of wine - useful, enjoyable in some way, practical and FROM STUFF I HAVE. Because I certainly have enough variety if I shop from my stash.

And I'm doing it on the halves. I can't go nuts making gifts and not take care of myself. One for me, another for the gifting - just as the quilters did when they pieced on the halves.

Stay tuned. I have already begun.

23 November 2007


I gave the daily writing effort a good go for me, especially since I don't have computer access at home. I was never worried about the competitive aspect. I am a great one for the self-competitive challenge. I may resume. The next week is crazy, so I'll see what I can do.

Last I was heard from, I was zapped by headache and then needed to focus pretty intensely on what I had to do for the rest of that week. One thing carries into the next, and here we are at the day after Thanksgiving. What have I done since? I've finished a few things.

I'd just finished this hat. Knittyboard posts asked for a modeled view, but it's not for me, so it wouldn't be a good fit. This will have to do:

The mailing envelope is now sealed. Post Office, here we come.

My cousin requested a dishcloth like the one I'd made her some years ago.
A bit of crochet cotton, and voila, the dishcloth of iron.

Took a bit of yesterday morning to make myself a hat. This is Knitty's Foliage. I should have pulled it down over the eyes of the hat block, as you can't actually see the leaf motifs in all their bulky, multi-colored glory. So it goes.

I've been a very busy camper, aside from all that. Major projects at work and an approaching end to a term mean PILES of work. It's alarming. I can't begin to list all of the other things I've been doing and yet need to do that have exactly nothing to do with knitting. Around that, I took a little time for "wellness-knitting." Finished the scarf. Finished the knitting on Norberta. Need to snap the one and stitch & stuff the other. Made progress on the soy silk Tuscany for a friend.

I'll take all of that progress as my personal prize for doing as well as I did for a half month of daily blog posting. I'll post when I can, as long as I'm getting other things done.

15 November 2007

(that light is too bright)


(finished the noro striped scarf)

(can't play)

(turn off the light, it's too loud)

14 November 2007

Today's lunch brought to you by.....

Now I did do some cooking this weekend. I made a crockpot of ratatouille. Used up some leftover kale and mushroom saute in a midsized pasta bake concoction.

Today, though, I dine courtesy of UK marketing and global groceries. The international foodie aisle at my local market had this marked down, I believe for lack of interest. The date was still good. The soup is a fine contrast to the usual, and I find myself inspired to make soup this weekend.

For really good soup recipes from some UK soup mavens, go to the home of glittrgirl and scumkitten and search SOUP.

13 November 2007

Just too mean to post

I love a good cliche. From more southern climes than here: "just too mean to live" as a description of a particularly nasty excuse for a human? Love it. How fitting that it should really be directed at me today.

Crabby about nothing in particularly. Annoyed by impossibly unimportant things. Distracted by minutiae. Disgusted by a good many things. Just too mean to live.

And truth be told, I should just yoink up my bootstraps and move along.

All things considered, I have food, shelter, an occupation, some pleasant people with whom to work. My family is reasonably stable and kind. I'm not going in for surgery next week, as is a dear friend who now faces the surgery phase of her battle with breast cancer.

Just too mean to post.

12 November 2007

About this NaBloPoMo adventure

Posting regularly has been a mighty fine exercise. I intend to be sticking with it as best I can. Thanksgiving holiday weekend might prove a creative challenge. But still, there's something about the orderliness of one post per day for a whole pile of days that is strangely appealing to me.

My sister sent a picture of my nephew's incredibly orderly precision-folded newspapers.

I like a little orderly repetition.

Perhaps it's genetic.

(Meanwhile, I'm busting out of this joint. I don't have to be here for an evening, so I'd best take some work home with me and get out so it will count!)

11 November 2007

C'est Finis!

I started here earlier today.

I finished here. Le Slouch!

Stretchy yarn, mercifully, as that seems a small band!

(How bad is the French? I can take it.)

10 November 2007

1 x 1 ribbed scarf

Sometimes you just need to knit and tune out.

These 1 x 1 ribbed scarves in yarns with long color changes have been hitting the internet zones. There's not much fuss, just two row switches of yarn and letting the color switches do their thing.

Am I a bad person if the airline attendant asked me if I was making it for a holiday gift and I just smiled and nodded? It matches my winter jacket, but I didn't feel she needed an actual conversation. She was just acknowledging another knitter. She had her knitting at the back of the plane -- a hat, I believe.

09 November 2007

I'm Old

But mostly I'm tired.

This is how old I am:

Last year or the year before someone passed around a link on the knittyboard in which you could discover the cover of Time magazine from the week you were born.

Seems I still have a copy of this.

I'm going home. Flew back, got to catch up with followup from meetings I missed, and stayed for a show. Mercifully, it was only an hour. Have to be back on Saturday morning.

08 November 2007


It's interesting to be in a city that relies so heavily on automobiles. Houston is not a particularly pedestrian zone, or at least I'm not finding the pockets.

This is the first time, for the record, that I've ever been to a city where I find I really haven't had an opportunity to find a piece of it for myself. I went presented something at a conference, spent a bit of time at the conference, took a half hour walk which didn't get me very far.

Did eat a posh dinner. My colleague relished the notion of finding a steakhouse, and so we did, and I enjoyed a particularly lovely glass of wine. It's a good thing I don't recall the name of the wine, because I'd probably not be able to afford a bottle. If I'm clever, though, I'll call later today and ask them. Neither of these are things I do often - my fridge right now has a lentil and fennel salad, red cabbage with apples, and a leftover lentil and brown rice loaf (which was more a nice casserole than anything really loaf-like or burger-shape-able, despite the recipe's claims). I'll be packing the last of those for lunches and dinners into next week, just as I did earlier. Dark and luxurious steakhouses and glasses of wine that cost more than pairs of bottles I purchase are a pretty far stretch.

This knitting isn't here. This comes to you via the remote capablities of the great picturebucket. Alpaca. Too warm for Houston anyway, I'll warrant. Tomorrow I head back to the cold and the alpaca knitting. For one more morning I'll try to be where I am.

07 November 2007

Just because I feel like a slouch ......

doesn't mean the knitting is a slouch....

That would be Le Slouch, if you please.

Ms. Wendy B. has it right: put a french article on it and there's no longer a shadow of anything pejorative about the word.

I'm getting ready to head to the airport this afternoon. I'm going to HOUSTON. Turns out it's warm down there. Delightful.

I just hate that I've had bad allergy things this week. I foresee several days of high-altitude sinus-shifting deafness. Fortunately right now that pales in the light of getting to LEAVE TOWN for a couple of days.

Guess I shouldn't take this knitting on the plane. Big metal size nines? I think I'll stick with the knitting that's on bamboo.

06 November 2007


I can't write much. I have to pack for a trip.
I give you a photo of a sock in progress.
The yarn is Trekking - suitable name for a travel reference.

Yarrow sock from Vintage Socks.

05 November 2007

Is there an end?

Not to my projects, at the moment. I seem to be starting several things while giving a nod to the ongoing projects. Plowed straight into a Le Slouch for a friend who's been an absolute gem about helping me with some costume projects from season to season. I'm at least a quarter of the way done, if not a third. The weather just shifted with a big blast of wind, so it's appropriate to be tending to hats and cuddly sweaters and gift giving that may or may not be on the horizon.

So goes the transition of the seasons. I spent all the hot months avoiding knitting the ultra cozy, potentially fuzzy things. Heat and alpaca? Not so much.

I'm knitting a few minutes in the morning, a few minutes in the evening, and on the weekend I sneak in a little more.

Discardian (Metagrrrl's Project Blog from 2006) posted this useful admonition:
"Don't let the blur of movement try to replace one elegantly completed task."

It's lovely. It's posted visibly in my work area. I sometimes mind it. Often I simply lust for the possibility.

I think I shall go home and knit on the hat. I'm leaving the rest of the work here. It'll be here tomorrow. I may not be able to finish one task elegantly tonight, but I can at least indulge in a half an hour of focus and then get some sleep.

There may not be an end today, but I can find some time to pause and to pretend.

04 November 2007


That old quilt was definitely a history of reuse. I had come back from a summer of camp in Maine and knew for the next summer I wanted an extra quilt, the kind that wouldn't be hurt by camp cots and pine pitch on the back of the shorts. I had the bag of old shirts and dresses I knew could be used for something, if no longer for wearing. And then a housemate who had finished her craft project stint with a vacation bible school session gave me a bunch of vaguely square muslin pieces.

Log cabin was clearly the order of the day.

I don't know if I ever took a picture of the quilt when it was in better shape. You can see where the red flannel plaid strips are just frayed bits along the seam lines. That was the first flannel shirt I made for myself. Wore it through the elbows. Still, you know, there was decent fabric in the shirt tails - isn't that the usual reference made by the quiltmakers of years gone by?

The lighter toned red plaid was a plisse dress I wore in the 80's. It just got to be too thin to be decent, but there was enough poly in the blend, so the fabric still doesn't seem to have given up the ghost.

And just off center in most of the squares, on the lighter halves, is an old plisse fabric, white with little starbursts of red, yellow, and blue. That was one of my dad's shirts. I wore it out. My mother thought that shirt reflected an appalling lack of judgement and taste. It was a designer shirt. Pierre Cardin, no less. Strictly 70's. And it was not much more than pajama weight plisse. Oh, she thought that was an appalling expenditure, and tacky.

Most of the other pieces are scraps from sewing projects. Most of them were mine, but I may have co-opted some of my sister's scraps.

More to come on the extended thrift-life of this quilt.

You know I'm talking myself up to doing some more practical quilts, of course.

03 November 2007

Beyond Thrift

Do you think a person can be too thrifty?

This quilt, which now lives within another piece of thrift, has layers of history.
Pictured is a glimpse of the reverse side, in which I borrowed and honored the traditional approaches of the quilters of Gee's Bend. I stitched up the leftovers, whacked them down the middle, and stitched them up again. It was very freeform. (I was pretty impressed with my bravery.)

One of the pieces of thrift within the thrift was this old shirt. Either my sister or I had made the oxford shirt in the first place. I forget whose it was, but we were both pretty thorough about our shirt making back then. This shot features one section with the pocket sewn facing into the quilt.

More another day. I have other pennies to pinch.

02 November 2007

Can't decide

There's the weather.
We've had the loveliest stretch of autumn. I remembered to slow down the other morning for a few minutes and enjoy the early morning light hitting the bright orange and red of a tree I usually see in afternoon light.

There's the health.
These allergies are annoying, and I do wish they would give over already. I have choral things this weekend, and I feel about as miserable as I sound.

There's the end of a week, and why am I still here? Ah, you see, because we have guest artists performing in my space.

There's the knitting.
I brought it with me today, but it never made it out of the car. I managed two rows this morning. Not much there.

There isn't much.
Other than this, I have nothing.
Does it count as writing if it's crap?
Not to decide is to decide?
Seems like indecision gives it a pretense at coherence.

Where's the substitute aspirin product?

01 November 2007

Good Enough

It's cold enough to wear a good knit sweater. I pulled out the sweater I'd been dreading to wear: I'd wrecked it. At least, I certainly thought so when I gave it a late spring bath in the appropriate wool-friendly soap.

The colors in the Kochoran stripes (tucked in for interest to help me stretch the amount of Peace Fleece I had used) filled the sink. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. Good enough, I thought. And then it dried, and all the loose color moved along the edges of the damp and settled, some along the sides of the sleeves, some along the sides of the sweater.

See the orange glow to the upper lengths of the sleeve, shown sideways here? It's not all the afternoon throw of the sun. It's a subtle plaid, stripes one way, errant dyes the other.

But damn it, it's cold enough to wear the sweater.
That's going to have to be good enough for me.

(Thanks, Elizabeth for the photo hint. It reminded me I have photos I've taken previously which may be just the thing for some writing prompts.)