Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's Up?

Well, what the hell have I been doing? No post in a long time. Wow.

I've been busy, actually. Had a delightful surprise of some out of town visitors and I was very entertained by them; I hope they can say the same.

Knitting
Well, this began originally as a knit blog and I'd say the content is about 30% knitting. Not that it matters but I want you to know, I've been a busy knitter! Check it out:

You all remember, I'm sure, my excitement over the first installment of the Rockin' Sock Club's 2008 offerings. In fact, I was so psyched, I didn't think I could live until the next installment, scheduled for March some time. So I joined Zen Yarn Garden's Art Walk Sock Club---the yarn is hand painted and inspired by works of art that are chosen in "contests" by the participants. Cool enough---and better---selections are made monthly so it keeps me from having DTs.
The first selection I received is pictured above and was inspired by Renoir's Discarded Roses. I think the fiber artist has done a really nice job with it and the base fiber is kind of not quite a medium-weight sock yarn which I've kind of avoided so this opportunity to work with it has been good; I like the weight very much. Its 100% merino wool, mult-plied (?) but not too tight, it has lovely hand a surprising sheen that I really like. Unlike the RSC, this club does not include patterns which is kind of good since I have a backlog of patterns I want to do. For this one, I chose Cookie A.'s Hedera; so far its a delightful, simple and fast pattern to knit and the result is quite lovely. Very feminine and appropriate for warmer weather.




Before this, I broke the land-speed-knitting record for socks with the RSC's first 2008 club package. Cool stuff:


It is beautiful yarn; hand-dyed 100% merino wool, lightweight and spun rather snug---my favorite base yarn, in fact. Merino gets so amazingly soft with washing and is easy to care for. I was surprised, however, about some funny tricks this yarn played. First, it striped---nice sometimes, other times, not so nice. In particular, I do not like to combine color striping with lace work. OK, I can let it slide although it definitely bugs me. Second, the yarn behaved differently for the second sock: the color would kind of "pool" in this slow evolving spiral down the leg of the sock. Cool and I liked it but dudes? The socks should match. I found lots of club members eager to tell me that perhaps my knitting gauge was off just a smidge and that accounted for the difference. This was not received well because I'm not a damn precision knitter. I'm very good at it. And if the yarn is this persnickety? It should come with a warning label. And perhaps drugs. Or tequila.

Because I have no one in my life that isn't kind, generous and gracious, the recipient of the socks has so far acted as though it wasn't even apparent. She's a very nice girl and she deserves prettier socks than these. On the list, but probably not the Discarded Roses ones. I'm thinking of adopting a give one, keep the next policy for these club socks.

Knitting Frogs
Well, the first meeting of the knitting club at school is scheduled for tomorrow. We're kind of having a little winter storm here so I'm hoping like hell that we won't have weather cancellations! The Needle Arts Mentoring Program of the Helping Hands Foundation is so cool---for just a very modest donation, they sent to me individual supplies for each knitter (1-0unce skein of yarn, bamboo needles, point protectors, How-to-Knit guide, bag) and also some guidance documents and a lovely book to be donated to our school library. And the individual supplies they'll donate for each group so next year, the new kids will have their supplies provided for them...amazing.

I'm all prepared with those materials plus some visual guides I prepared that I think will help and some knitted goodies I've made to "inspire" them. I have all this packed in a lovely tote that a fellow crafter made for me and its such a lovely little collection of goodies! I CAN'T WAIT! In a couple of weeks, I'm going to meet with the Activites Director of an assisted living facility in the community to see if we can find a way to involve some senior knitters in our club. Did I mention I'm totally psyched about this club? Yee-haw! Now all I have to do is get the kids groovin' on some great jazz and then I'll have my knitting buddies for the next 20 years or so...

Movies
Well, everyone's all about the Oscars just now but I'm still in the business of watching some of the nominees... Monday DH and I went to see Juno---that is really a great movie: entertaining, amusing, plausible, not cheap shots in the plot. I think maybe Juno's character was more mature than you'd expect a 16 year old to be but Page did a good job with it. She was hilarious. Besides the movie, we went out to lunch and I like going on dates with my baby. He's a great guy.

I took my unexpected visitors to see There Will be Blood; this is another great movie. It really seems to me that this year's movies are just a better collection than we've had in many years. Daniel Day Lewis really acted his ass off in this movie; great story, great filming. Crazy motherf*cker he was for sure but a great story.

Funerals
Well, unfortunately I attended a funeral over the last several days. This one was full-military honors and it was mind-blowing---the military attendants nearly outnumbered the very many family and friends. Brass band with drum line, horse-drawn caisson, honor guard, bugler and rifle team. I found myself feeling very patriotic and then, guess what---really pissed at how our soldiers' lives are being put at risk for no good reason these days. Driving through the cemetary, as we did from the chapel to the graveside, you can't NOT be overwhelmed by the numbers of markers and lost lives...

Of course all funerals are difficult but the military ones really wring you out with the Taps, the gun salutes, the solemnity of the flag-folding and presentation....man. I've got to get some waterproof mascara...


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Now playing: Fleetwood Mac - Songbird
via FoxyTunes

2 comments:

Special K said...

I LOVE that you're starting a knitting club! Tell us how it goes! What a great idea to involve seniors too - that is so amazing!

Kathy said...

I'm really SO excited about it, K! The NAMP/HHF also provides support for other needle arts, like crocheting, cross stitch, needle point; its a really great resource if you know of anyone thinking of similar endeavors...