Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quiet Summer

It's summer color ... but gently.

my Flickr and instagram feed

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I See Without My Glasses

If it looks like what I see without my glasses, it's the perfect instant film for me. 
An extension of my memories, jogging and re-shaping them. 


 I'm trying PX 70 Color Shade at the moment, which I'm very excited about.  The image above is the last of my Artistic TZ.  Above that, is Color Shade.  

Color Shade is how my mind sees things. 

my flickr and instagram feed

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Don't Fade

The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. - Isaiah 40: 8

Man, who is born of woman, is of few days and full of trouble.  He comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue. - Job 14:1-2


Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. - Romans 10:13

We do not lose heart, even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. - 2 Corinthians 4:16

It sounds trite enough, until you feel yourself fading.
 my Flickr

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I feel on the brink of something.   I realize I'm saying that and then following it with a bunch of pictures of yarn and my cat...again, which begs the question, "How interesting can this brink be?"  But, it really isn't about the yarn.

I am sensing I'm about to change again.  It's like the feeling I used to get before the first day of school as a girl, minus the dread.  It's the signal that a small, imperceptible change is taking place in me (like finding forgiveness or learning an old fashioned lesson.)  It's the sort of thing only my sister or grandmother would ever know happened and, once it does, I feel much lighter.

But about the yarn:  I just received a box with a summer's worth of yarn.  Yes I added to my yarn hoard, but, no, it will not be contributing to my craft storage problem for long.  I'm doing something new this year: actually knitting with summer weight yarn in summer - crazy brink alert!  Really, who wants to drive to the beach or across country in the summer with a bulky, wool sweater piled on their lap?  I could've used stashed yarn, but the only cotton I have is for dish towels, so...

Along with trying some more delicate knitting on tiny needles, I'm considering entering the Ravelympics.   In case you have never heard of this athletic event of sorts, it is a knit-along held during the Olympics in which teams of knitters watching the summer games from around the world compete for the gold in their own events like Charity Rowing (knitting items for charity), Synchronized Stashbusting (an attempt to compete while using up old yarn you've hoarded),  Sweater Triathlon, Afghan Marathon... you get the idea.  All items must begin and end with the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics.

The point is to work fast, pick projects that challenge you, and enjoy the online antics on Ravelry.  Oh, yeah, and you can watch the Olympics.  If you should finish in an event Bobicus Maximus will be handing out blog badges as medals.  Silly, huh?

I'm thinking of entering the Sock Put (because I never knit socks), or the Home Stuff Hammerthrow (because I could use up all of that dish towel cotton, you know?)   But what I'd really like to do is make the summer tops I bought this yarn for in the Sweater Triathlon and Colorwork Crosscountry.  I'm just not sure it would count as a challenge, except for the time factor.    So, until I finish the sweater I'm working on now or until opening ceremonies begin, they remain boxed up possibilities.

my Flickr and my Ravelry

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Good Afternoon

It doesn't take much to make make me happy.
When the cat's fur is still warm from sitting in the window.

When I stand right in front of the bathroom door before my kids open it and it scares them to see me unexpectedly.

When I hear Floyd Cramer on shuffle.

Finding a little molded shape of a motorcycle or animal that my son absentmindedly made with a piece of foil or paper he was supposed to throw away. 

The faint smell of my grandfather's pipe smoke in my clothes.

Seeing my dad out walking his dog.

The way my dogs see guests out of our home, walking them to the door then watching them through the window until they drive away. 

Scratchy vinyl playing in the next room.

Covering up under an afghan my grandmother made for me years ago to watch tv.

Making brownies, jewelry, anything, next to my daughter.

The sunroof open.

Reading aloud to my husband or kids on road trips (The 80 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time,  The Year of Living Biblically, or Bone.)  This year I'm thinking... Bradbury.

Walking when it's cool in the evening until I feel like stopping.

 Yes, I like it blurry.  my Flickr 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Boy Stuff

I won't be seeing this stuff all over the house forever.  Even now, my son says when he and his friends talk about things they've built with legos at school, they use code.  I find that I can't complain about little toys left on the carpet or in the grass because, all too soon, there won't be any toys at all.  Plastic pirate swords are being replaced with bokken swords and throwing knives, which was my idea and is really cool, but still...  I miss little boy stuff.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I'm finally getting around to making the Paulie cardigan.  This is the last of my cool weather knits before I focus on summery things.  This was just a disappointing winter for knitters in Texas.  It was cold for maybe one day and that's the day I accidentally forgot to carry a sweater.  Now, it's 90 degrees and I'd like to actually use what I make.

So, I'm inaugurating Spring with one mammoth order from Knit Picks that should cover all of my summer knitting plans.  I know that I'm supposed to be using up the dreaded boxes of cheap yarn in my garage, but it's all hot, scratchy, or in odd amounts, and I just haven't been able to force myself to knit the eye lash yarn cat bed, you know?
No, for this summer I want linen, silk, and cotton.  I'm thinking of making Umbre Lovre, Romp Around the Clock (I know it's a romper, but it just looks like so much fun,) maybe Chiton, or the Make Up Your Mind Tank.  There's Traverse City, possibly Roxborough Dolman, or Finishing School.  And thanks to road trip knitting sessions and my children's summer camps, I may actually finish them all.

In fact, when I looked at my projects page recently, I realized I've really been cranking out the sweaters and such this year.  It's been something like 1.6 finished projects a month.      

So... Paulie.  It doesn't really look like it sounds, does it?  Not only is it my last winter knit, but it may be my last spontaneous yarn buy for a while too.   I seem to always be running to a chain store for whatever last minute, cheap yarn I can find enough of that will work for a pattern.  I rarely plan ahead.  That's why I settled for this Premier Serenity charcoal yarn.  It's okay, but it's so thin that I'm having to double it where I wouldn't have to with most other fingering weight yarn.  This makes the fabric a little denser than I'd like and means I may run out of yarn before I'm finished.   Thus, the vicious cycle of last minute trips to a chain store for cheap yarn continues.

The green, on the other hand, is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool and from my county's first locally owned yarn shop.   That was a long time coming.  Spontaneous yarn buys are okay there.  

It's taking size 1 needles to get a stitch gauge close to the pattern.  Even so, my gauge is still off by one stitch per inch so I'm knitting the x-small size for more of a small fit.  I'm trying it on as I go and the fit seems right enough.

I'm also following one knitter's advice and adding a purl stitch seam down the sides and sleeves to help the sweater retain it's shape, like with the Caramel cardigan.

Okay, my post of a million links is over.  More on my Flickr and my Ravelry.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Streamlined Knitting

This appears to be a serene little slice of hand knitting life.  But just a few inches over sits the truth. 
After my last post about downloading books onto my ipad,  I sat down on my couch to knit amid all of my knitting "gear" and realized this was all about to be a thing of the past.

The clutter is bad, folks.  I try to paste all of my possible modifications for a pattern on one page and keep the pattern pages in a plastic sleeve, but then I mark out my rows, do a little math, keep a printed out how-to of a difficult stitch nearby,  have various needles and markers floating about, and before I know it things are out of control.  My husband, checking first for scissors and needles, sits by me with this mystified look on his face as he hands me a messy stack of these pages.  "What does this even mean?"

Once I just stood over my son and dropped a pile of wrinkled Beatnik pattern pages and mods over his head, littering the couch around him and asked, "Is this what it feels like to sit by me on the couch?"  I wasn't surprised by both of my children yelling, "Yes!" in stereo.

 Even my little dog walks up to the couch with hopefulness as I finally sit down, only to let a canine sigh escape when he sees me pull out the needles.  He turns in disgust and heads for a chair.  Is my habit pushing my loved ones away?

 Probably.  It's not like I'm some brilliant, eccentric scientist discovering cures in the lab that doubles as a home.  It's just sweaters and stuff.   So I'm beginning to store my patterns on my ipad, along with all of my modifications under one bookmark named for that pattern.   I'm using GoodReader to annotate any pdf's or Werdsmith to write up pattern ideas of my own, and I've got a drawing app for any sketches I need to make as visual cues.   In case I run into problems, I have a tab with Ravelry ready and waiting on my browser.

I think I'll get used to this.  In the short amount of time I've been doing this, I find I'm thinking more creatively about construction, even snapping pictures of things that inspire me to file with any drawings of possible pattern ideas.  This may lead to a personal sweater pattern.

There will be more togetherness and harmony in the living room now.  That is, as long as I don't connect my ipad to the tv and make them watch interviews or how-tos with knitwear designers that I downloaded.