Sunday, May 30, 2010

Legolas and long lost whatsies.

Show-n-Tell time.  I finished my Legolas kerchief this week, despite working on my super-secret knitting as well.  I won't show you the pictures of the shawl before I learned that I had to really block it out hard and tell it who's boss.  This morning before running to work, I managed to snap a few pictures in the gloriously golden morning light.

It's made to look like leaves, although one person suggested Legolas's hair.  It's got these nifty leafy ties to help it drape over the shoulders and around the neck well.

While in the pictures it looks a bit brownish, the color is actually green, but of the army-green or olive ilk.  Olive.  Yeah, that's about right, I think.

So, I gotta whine a bit.  You may remember I have set a silly goal for myself to knit ten shawls this year, eight of them surpassing 250 meters of yarn each, and two twice that size.  While I feel like I've been working on and finishing a number of shawls since the beginning of the year, I think I have only actually finished one shawl that fits the yardage and was begun after the New Year.  

I thought this one was going to meet the requirements, as well.  As it turns out, it exceeds 250 yards, but not 250 meters. (I don't really feel any enmity toward my meter-loving knitter-brothers and -sisters.)

Close, but no cigar.

I still fully intend to make the goal, and I'm not too concerned yet, but I'm just not where I thought I would be.  The good news--I'm expecting to be able to whip out a couple shawls in the month of June, having a bit of vay-cay time at the family reunion during Knit In Public Day.  I like my knitting because sometimes it helps me meet people, but the flipside is that I also hide behind my knitting when I'm with a large mass of people I don't really know but am somehow related to.  (Yes, I just ended a sentence with an infinitive.  Or something bad like that.)  So while my mom's telling all the long lost whosiewhatits the marvellous things we children are accomplishing (knitting likely not being one of them), I expect to be relatively antisocial and plug away on a shawl.  I can't imagine the cowboys having much to say about that, but we can admire each other from afar, if charts don't get in the way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

“Whoo Hoo!” and “Can You Keep A Secret?”

The last time I blogged, I mentioned some super-secret knitting going on, and that I’d tell more in the fall.  That’s partly true.  If I tell you, can you promise not to tell anyone else?  
Somehow, I made it onto a list of test knitters for Stephen West’s upcoming pattern booklet, which is scheduled to come out in the fall.  I’m delighted.  His patterns have a nice combination of simplicity and interest, and they make great take-along projects.  So that’s what I’ve been in a flurry knitting these weeks. Here’s the beginning of a project using the Peace Fleece I obtained in Maryland:
Adding to my excitement, however, was the opportunity this past weekend to meet Stephen in person!  My impressions: he’s taller than I thought, as gracious in person as he is online, and overall pleasant company.  I loved being near his creative flow, which I got to watch even as we hung out in Loop in Philly.  It’s nice to meet another young guy who will stay up later than is wise because of a knitting project.  Heck, it was nice to knit with a couple guys at all!  
I got to try on a couple of his published shawls, sit around and knit, shoot a couple of photos, and get some opinions on color combinations for one of his projects.    (That's Greg vicariously in the middle.)
May I interrupt myself to say that I am grateful for competent yarn store workers who can help me find colors?  I had brought my own yarns into Loop, both needing partners, and had excellent success once I asked for help.  Yay Kathy!  There, you have a happy soapbox.  
Other pictures:
My sister and I slaughtered made a strawberry pie. It required bowls.

I played harp at a wedding for a couple friends, and caught some nice lighting at the reception.  

I also inadvertently gave away a couple of my favorite shawls; the wind at the reception was just cool enough to chill everyone a good deal, and I felt like doing some good with what I had in my car.  I got a good bit of satisfaction to see three girls huddled under one of the shawls for a greater part of the evening.  I hope I get it back, though.  It’s my Daybreak shawl in Malabrigo Twist, and it’s so nice to cuddle with.  How ironic, that both 'gifted' shawls are Stephen's designs!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's this blog about anyway?

I like my mac 'n cheese out of the box.  Now, if someone's diligent enough to make the real, homemade stuff, please wrap up some and send it to me (especially if it has bread crumbs on top); but I must've been a bachelor at heart from an early age.  Just the other day I made myself some macaroni in my favorite generic brand, and it was one of those doomed know, where you mix in too much milk or something, and it just tastes like wet noodles.  Which of the following choices do you suppose I did?

1) I left it bland and ate it anyway, rather than let it go to waste.

2)  I threw it out and started a whole new batch.

3) I decided I would settle for hot dogs.

4) I scrounged around for some real cheese to add to the mix; now it's the real thing!

5) I opened another box of macaroni and cheese, stole the artificial cheese powder, and sprinkled it on top generously (since, after all, my favorite moments are the clumps of unmixed cheese 'sauce' that left the rest so bland).  And--goshdarnit--I slaved over this mac-n-cheese so I could enjoy the cheesy taste, so I'm gonna enjoy it yet!

Yes.  The correct answer is #5 (this time, anyway).  I think I've hit a low point.

Oh, yes, knitting!  I enjoyed passing the time at my li'l sis's graduation with my Legolas kerchief.  Every time the older sis said she was bored, I smugly reminded her she ought to take up knitting.  It really does wonders for a person's patience.  Just look how much fun I'm having here:

Well, we did have fun anyway.

I'm almost done Legolas, but have laid him aside for the time being while I work on some super secret knitting.  I'll tell you more next fall.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Inebriation or Heat Stroke?

Disclaimer: I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool this weekend, and it was hot enough that I bought an all-day mug of root beer.  I figured it called for a lousy ‘beer’ song.  

Yesterday on the first of May the bus was rather full, 
we packed our knitting and headed out to Maryland Sheep and Wool. 
The parking lot was crowded tight as avid fans streamed in, 
delighted at the free-for-all now starting to begin.  

Hey, hey, ho, ho, the bags are packing full, 
 we’re cooling down and knitting up at Maryland Sheep and Wool. 

I fondled yarn, I oogled lace, I bought a mug o’ ‘beer,’ 
I wandered through the projects show  and watched the sheepy shear. 
The weather was a touch too warm, we staggered to the shade, 
I pitied roasting artisans and toasty wares they made.

Hey, hey, ho, ho, the bags are packing full, 
we’re cooling down and knitting up at Maryland Sheep and Wool. 

The shoppers crowded through the barns despite the searing heat, 
the kilted men sprawled on the grass to rest their tired feet.
I never heard a rough remark, tho’ friendlies heard a few; 
I made some new acquaintances and old ones did renew. 

Hey, hey, ho, ho, the bags are packing full, 
we’re cooling down and knitting up at Maryland Sheep and Wool. 

Though shopping played a crucial part (there seemed a hefty lot), 
I rather liked the people there - okay, and yarn I bought. 
For me the fun is over now, though there be one more day; 
the music and the sheep-to-shawl and fiber friends at play.  

Hey, hey, ho, ho, the bags are packing full, 
we’re cooling down and knitting up at Maryland Sheep and Wool. 

As I review my findings, this sight before I’ve seen, 
for once again I’ve fallen prey to buying blue and green!  

Hey, hey, ho, ho, the bags are packing full, 
we’re cooling down and knitting up at Maryland Sheep and Wool. 

(I can't get any more photos uploaded, so my apologies to those picture-book readers out there.)