Thursday, March 24, 2011

That's Why I Wish Again I Were in Michigan..

That is a Judy Garland song in some old musical, but corrected for proper grammar.

Tomorrow, I take the three tykes, and we trek to Michigan! Michigan is the grand state in which I was raised, and Michigan is home to several friends. Two nights we will stay with a high school friend and her family, and perhaps another two elsewhere.

My high school friend was a spinner, embroiderer and quilter while still a teen -- way, WAY before I knew these things even existed. I still clearly remember her showing me an entire quilt she had made and asking me to find the mistake. "?!" I didn't even know how to vocalize questioning this, when I truly didn't know the first thing about quilting. She finally pointed out, a little disappointed that I didn't even try, where she had sewed one of the small pieces right side down. "The Amish make intentional mistakes because only God is perfect." I allow Him that privilege as well, but trying as hard as I can. I know full well I'll have them, and they'll be unintentional!

Anyhow, she is a spinner and knitter as well. I'm bringing my spindle, but our time is sure to be full herding children, washing up, and... sleeping? That seems optional.

Unfortunately, for Spring Break, the weather went South. It was below freezing for a bit today. Had to remind the kids as they tried repeatedly to run outdoors without coats, without hats, without shoes. Hope Springs in the heart eternal, but, unfortunately, Spring takes its time!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quilt Hop

The Gathering of regional quilters left the members of my local circle cold this year, so Debbie cooked up a quilt shop hop of our own. Saturday, four of us buckled up and drove South to visit with Helen and her sister Phyllis, and shop at three shops in Northern Indianapolis. They were Always in Stitches in Noblesville, Quilts Plus in Northview, right across the street from where I used to teach, and Quilt Quarters in Carmel. Kay England used to own that one at its previous location, but now devotes her time to fabric design, books and lectures. It was at the last location that I found this luscious Matisse fabric: panels of 8 ladies.

When I came back, I scoured my fabric to find border fabrics. My mind is brimming with "mat" designs to quilt about them. Must mull on this...

This is awesome.

Beware of laughing outright, if you have ever had a small child.

Message with a Bottle

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Took little guy to his pre-operative visit with our friendly neighbor otorhinolaryngologist. The irony is that the doctor is so soft spoken, it's hard to hear him.

Little guy and future singing star girl then got their teeth cleaned and nicely polished. Both got their pictures taken for the no cavities wall. Found out favorite dental hygenist is 19 weeks pregnant with twin girls. I felt it my duty to propose names: Maisy and Daisy, Dixie and Trixie (BOOM-ya, Brenda!), Lily and Vanilly, Janelle and Rochelle. She didn't bite. She did, however, concede that they weren't the worst names offered. That honor goes to Rena and Phyllis: combo names from her family.

Finally, tonight we had little girl's singing concert for the year. She shown like a star and chewed gum. I was disgusted with the later. Here is a take from the concert. Only those related to her could possible pick her out from this poor quality video.

Last week, little monkey had his concert. Here is my favorite outtake:

Not to be left behind, eldest had a piano recital last Sunday. Here it is, with special effects by youngest:

Because of the travel, I've been working on my Medano Beach bag today. It uses stripes of Rowan denim and Twinkle Cruise in ivory. Nice nautical theme.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Had a nice quiet two days, so I determined to resurface the short-row Fair Isle sweater. It had been put in the bad corner, because the gaps and strings formed by knitting up the sleeve in the round put me over the edge.

In the 2 months it has been put away I have read two tips that I shall employ. The first recommends knotting the cut strings at the start and stop of rows until such time as one can weave in ends. This should help mind the gaps.

Secondly, I had the conundrum of attaching sleeve caps with the sleeves knit in the round into a finished body of a sweater also knit in the round, and weaving in THOSE ends. I read on Lene's blog that she attached such sleeves with three needle bind-off. Oh! The light! So welcome!

Yesterdays plan was to knit an entire sleeve. I finished up to the elbow, and, really, that was just fine.

Today, littlest monkey threw up right after I urged him to eat breakfast. He left a trail from the breakfast table to the bathroom. Two other children scattered like leaves in the wind. Sigh. He is safely ensconcsed with electronics on my lap right now, his cute little elbows pinning my wrists to the desktop. Elbow piercings. Hmmm...

Here is a picture of the work in progress.

May we all sleep well tonight!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How about some of that Nordic madness in picture form?

Here are some gratuitous pictures Scandanavian and Finnish knitting books. Is your seat belt buckled?

The three books I received from a kind lady in Wisconsin:

These first few pictures are from the book at the bottom of the pile. It is missing a cover page, and is written in Swedish, but the pictures and charts are very complete and lovely. Quite inspiring.
Isn't this lovely, with the yarn loop cuff?

Here is a lovely Scandinavian star:

I adore the cuff on this one:

Here is he last one I'll put on here from this book today. I recognize the cuff from a mitten taught at the Nordic conference in Seattle last October. I didn't attend that class, but Alex, who works at the museum did and he was hauling it around knitting on it. The cuff is doubled, and knit in a slipped stitch/knit through the back of the loop way that makes this nice spiral.

The second book I'll highlight is the Mitten and Glove book published in Stockholm in 1930. It is by Anna Petersson-Berg and was originally published in 1923 by Husmoderns Handböcker I Husflit. Sigh. 91 illustrations!

This next picture has so much, but mainly features a variety of ways to make cuffs, both on wristlets and mittens.

Here's a lovely gauntlet mitten:

Wild and crazy cuff. Have you ever seen this one on a Swedish knit?

Finally, from this book, a two tone geometric knit. This is a style I see most often knit in twined or two-ended knitting. However, this example does not appear to be done so.

Finally for today, my prize and joy Mary Olki book. I have been looking for this ever since the classes in October. The pair on the cover are the same mitten Carol Rhodes knit in her course in Finland. She had them in the Finnish knitting Traditions class that she taught -- such a masterpiece of technical knitting!

It has info on how to make the yarn loopy cuffs:

And pictures of the actual mittens Alex was working on:

Lastly, it has the pictures and instruction on how to make the famous Rovaneimi mittens from Northern Finland.

Unfortunately, they are in Finnish.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I believe the next few entries on the blog will be catching up on the pictures I have missed.
Today shall be pictures of the Boathouse Row. The white Boathouse Row was my first, knit out of Cascade's discontinued bulky 50/50 linen-rough alpaca yarn Fascination. It was a pleasure to knit. The resulting shawlette is warm and fairly light, but sheds like crazy.

I liked the ivory Boathouse so much, I decided to knit another one. This one, I wanted to able to wear next to my skin, so I double-stranded a denim yarn by Elann and Debbie Bliss' pure silk. Both are dk weights. The resulting shawlette is soft and smooth, with a nice weight, and beautiful drape.

Ready for cool weather, or warm now!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Latest Creation

...And I'm ready for London!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

"I'm sorry, my dear, I cannot move a cat."

Little snippets heard between my parents.

It has been raining cats and dogs the last two days, and the creek behind my parents' house is a raging torrent. Finally the weather cleared this afternoon, and I went for a walk. I love the hills. The walks are so different from my home.

What makes turblent waters so interesting? I strolled alongside the creek, throwing those annoying spiny orbs from sugar trees into the water, watching to see where they would pop up, and racing them downstream.

There are turbulent waters in mum's church as well. Why must everyone seek to enter another person's fight? Why does everyone want to slow their cars and look at wrecks? Does it display a amoral commonness of our humanity? Or does it portray more base characteristics of envy, jealousy, or a feeling of superiority?

On the walk, I saw lots of Spring flowers as well. Having flown from Winter to Spring, the flowers were a sight for sore eyes...

The blogger site is refusing to download pictures, so I will have to add the rest later.

On a different tangent, I confess I must have lied at the end of my last post. I have had much more time to knit after the first day. Today, I cast off the Twilight shawl by Gundrun Johnson The Shetland Trader. I soaked it in Big Hair shampoo, because it was accessible (hey ya'll! I'm in the South!), and I have it pinned out on the spare bed in my parents' house. The camera battery is dead, but plugged in. Later: Here is a picture of the shawl before it was unpinned.

Dad is doing better, but we are all hoping he gets a good night's rest tonight.

Friday, March 04, 2011

PT = Pain & Torture

Well, I am in South Carolina with an ipad and a will to blog, but no way to attach pictures. Nevertheless, I thought I would expound a short bit, if just for the sake of my brother and sister.

Dad had a total knee replacement on Monday. He's 76, and not known for tackling huge projects or pain with vim and vigor, but I must say I have been very impressed with his positive attitude and will to do that which has been set out before him. He came home yesterday after mom picked me up from the airport. I had flown down on a little midget of a plane that looked like it had been left in the washer on hot a wee bit too long. I don't know for what sized human it was designed, but that person was substantially shorter than 5' 7". They definitely weighed less than 400 pounds, too. I don't weight 400 pounds, but the guy in front of me did, and he looked like he needed a shoe horn to get in and out of the seat, poor guy.

Anyways, i got to see the Physical Therapist work with dad yesterday. Today a PT came to the house, and this afternoon, I led him through the exercises again. He has the electrically circulating ice pack on now and is asleep. Oh! Mom just woke him up asking about dinner, and now he is up and at 'em. He gets himself up himself and walks a bit, God bless him! It's wonderful, except mom and I caught him doing it twice in the night, trying to help the dog.

Well, the dog is at a kennel now, and mom and I are tired, but hopefully we all will sleep well tonight.

This is kind of cutting into my knitting time, though!